My Abandonment by Peter Rock is one of the most unique and disquieting novels I’ve read in a long time. Caroline is a thirteen year old girl who lives with her father in Forest Park outside Portland. Her father has taught her everything about survival: how to stay hidden in the woods, how to leave no trace, how to avoid people at all costs. But when these two outsiders are discovered by the police and social services, everything will change. This novel will challenge your beliefs about many things: family relationships, social norms, and nature to name a few. But above all read this book for Caroline’s voice—I still can’t get it out of my head.— Sarah B.
Summer '10 Reading Group List
“Loosely based on a true story, My Abandonment reveals the secret world of 13-year-old Caroline and her father as they make their life in a nature reserve in Oregon. Full of details of a life created in the wild as well as the captivating view of Caroline, the novel pulls you along to its heart-wrenching end. The book raises many questions about our society and parenting, and would be an excellent book group choice.”
— Leslie, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
March 2009 Indie Next List
“No one knows that 13-year-old Caroline has been living with her father on the fringes of Portland, Oregon, in dense forest, until one seemingly insignificant slipup propels them back into the urban world, a world in which they are far less suited to survive. This is a book you won't put down until you finish it; a book whose characters you'll never forget.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
NOW A MAJOR FILM, LEAVE NO TRACE. Inspired by a true story, a riveting and unsettling novel about a girl and her father who live off the grid, in the shadows at the edge of civilization.
Thirteen-year-old Caroline and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts.
Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.
Told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.
About the Author
PETER ROCK is the author of several novels, including My Abandonment, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling. He teaches writing at Reed College.
ADVANCE PRAISE FORMY ABANDONMENT “Peter Rock’s My Abandonment is an electrically charged, bone-deep and tender tale of loss and partial redemption. Surreal, haunting, elegiac.” —James Ellroy “This beautiful, strange novel takes us into the foreign country where those called homeless are at home, the city is wilderness, and the greater wilderness lies beyond. Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong.”—Ursula K. Le Guin —