Book Review: My Abandonment – AND a Giveaway! YAY!

My AbandonmentMy Abandonment by Peter Rock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting story. It’s based in my town (yay! Portland!) and is, at least in the beginning, set in Forest Park – where I spend a lot of my free running time (yay! trail running!). In addition, it’s based on a true story, so that’s even better (in a manner of speaking – the trueness of the story is actually probably not better for the people involved).

So – the gist (mild spoilers):

A veteran and his daughter live in Forest Park, coming into Portland (across my bridge! to my Safeway!) to collect his disability checks and buy the food they cannot grow. They move around fairly frequently in the Park and spend about four years there, undetected.

They are finally discovered, and brought in & held for awhile by Social Services (I’m sure to make sure that there was no abuse or other weirdness going on). They are placed on a ranch; the father is given a job, and the daughter, who was homeschooled very well during their tenure in the Park, is to start school.

And then – they disappear again.

Although the above does contain mild spoilers, those are the basic facts of the true story. What happens next – which I’m NOT going to talk about – is where the author takes over the string of events.

I found the story very interesting and engaging – a really quick read. Although I understand (to a point) the desire to live off the grid and to keep your child innocent of the world (the father quotes Thoreau a lot), I think that it’s a little unrealistic and found myself really disliking the father – especially towards the end of the book.

His paranoia got worse as the story went on, and I’m sure there was some kind of PTSD from his war service, but I think that his actions are very nearly inexcusable.

Also? Now every time I’m in Forest Park alone, I feel a little paranoid that I’m suddenly going to stumble across a large encampment of itinerants and they’ll kill me so I don’t reveal their location. (Okay – I don’t actually feel that way – I stay on the trails…but I do feel like I’m being watched ALL THE TIME.)

So – a good read, a decent story. I enjoyed the way the author took the basic facts and spun something very engaging from those facts. I do wish his mind had gone more towards the “and they lived happily ever after in a lovely remote compound in Idaho” ending than where it did go, but I can’t fault him for that…my mind hardly ever does happily ever after, either.

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And a giveaway!

It’s getting to be that time of the year again! It’s time for All Hallow’s Read! Leave a comment on this post (Edited to add: by 10/25/11) telling me your most memorable (or favorite) scary, creepy, or weird book and two people will be randomly selected to receive a scary book. You can also specify if you want to receive a children’s scary book, a YA scary book, or an adult scary book.  The book will, of course, be my choice (mwa ha ha) – I believe last year’s winners both received copies of Chuck Palahniuk’s “Haunted,” which in addition to being awesome, apparently also glows in the dark & can be used to scare your significant other in the middle of the night.

So – comment away! Win a book!

7 responses to “Book Review: My Abandonment – AND a Giveaway! YAY!

  1. I would devour the “Goosebumps” series like chocolate and beer. Every time one came out, I read it. Also? I read “IT” during a week of detention, and since I was mostly alone in a relatively dark study hall-I almost pissed myself.

  2. I’m glad you liked that book. Did you see the author is (or at least was) a professor at Reed College? Neat.

    My favorite spooky book is Frankenstein. It’s such an amazing story and the monster is surprisingly lovable. I haven’t read it in a couple years- I should re-read it!

  3. American Psycho. Totally believable psychotic freak. Scared the bajeezus out of me.

  4. I mostly stick to the non-fiction, but one of my favorite authors that you would really like is Scott Nicholson. He also publishes under a few pseudonyms. he’s all over amazon. We went to college together and were close friends then, I still see him sometimes when we get up to the NC mountains.

  5. I don’t want to win a free book since I did last year, but I just want to say the cover of Haunted is indeed awesome and did indeed scare Rob to pieces 🙂

  6. You know, I’ve occasionally wondered whatever happened to that father and daughter. This one sounds like a good read!

    And I always think of you and my other friends who run in Forest Park and I worry about you guys sometimes – that place is huuuuge and there can be some, ahem, interesting characters out there in those woods. And by ‘interesting’ I mean ‘crazier than shithouse rats’.

  7. I would LOVE to win a spooky book. I want to learn about the people that are constantly WATCHING you.

    My creepiest book story is about Ann Rice. When I was devouring these books during University, I was a smoker and rented a basement in a house in Arlington, VA with a Lanai. I used to spend quite a bit of time out there smoking and reading away. I eventually had to switch from Ann Rice after I finished Memnoch the Devil. I was sure the group house next door was a cover for Vampires and that THEY were always watching ME. I still get chills because I freaked myself out so badly.