In Peter Rock’s My Abandonment a thirteen year old girl named Caroline lives with her father in Forest Park. Caroline’s father is not mentally stable but helps Caroline live a life that she will remember. Caroline and her father live in the woods all alone aloof from society. To avoid capture they hide underground and also in trees. One day a jogger noticed Caroline changing in the trees. If she had not done that and stayed incognito she would not be in the mess she is in now. The police brought Caroline and her father back to a detention center where they were interrogated. They are soon put to live on a farm. The question is what will they do next?
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The first thing I would like to touch upon is the fact that our narrator, Caroline, is not very trustworthy. As Caroline writes her book on her and her father’s experiences she says, “I remember the conversations as best as I can. If I make up words he says at least they’re close or taken from his notebook. I stitch it together and I only add what I have to. If I don’t remember something I skip over it and leave it out,”(222). This affected me a lot even though I knew a potential theme of this book was secrecy, something her and her father had a lot. Caroline left her dead father in a cave during a storm and went on with her life. How would you feel if the father was someone you know and love? Caroline at the beginning of the book disobeyed her father and took off her camouflage. Then she lied to him and told him she saw nothing. That put them both in danger but I was thinking if getting caught was what she wanted. Maybe Caroline
wanted to see how living a civilized life was like and only acted as if she missed home to mess with the readers mind. When this book was over those questions still linger in my head but another one keeps popping up every time I hear the title. I wonder how Caroline is going to end up living like her father, all alone and potentially confused. This book was an amazing experience for me. I love unloving things but this book hid a lot of things from the reader. Importantly, we don’t know if Caroline’s story is actually true and there are no lies.
Peter Rock does a great job addressing most of the literary elements. One thing that really stood out for me was his outstanding job of, show don’t tell. He barely told us directly what was going on but his detailed descriptions helped us uncover what he really wanted us as readers to know. His imagery was great and he also included a little foreshadowing which really drove the story. Many parts were very disturbing to read but those parts just shows what the other side of life may look like.
The story ended very quickly as if the narrator was rushing to the end because she forgot or she didn’t want to talk about it. Caroline ends up going to college and so far she is a lone wolf. She works part time at as a librarian. The ending was ok but I wish I knew what happened to her in the future. Caroline’s father is dead but she is now living life the way people expect humans to live. Only she knows if she’s satisfied. At first I did not get what Randy, Caroline’s toy horse, symbolized. Towards the end Caroline found out that Randy was a Chinese acupuncture model. In movies I watched Chinese knick knacks like Randy symbolized things like luck or something. I came to a conclusion that it symbolized hope and perseverance, two important themes that come up. Caroline carried Randy with her at all times and he was rarely out of her site. Randy
pushed Caroline to do things she wouldn’t do if she lived a normal life. She went back for him and always wanted him near her, as comfort.
This book has an amazing plot, ok ending, and some great imagery. Ultimately this book taught me that if I don’t take chances I will be stuck with any problems I have, which would end up harming me in the future. Caroline took chances and even though she was home schooled by her father that was in the war she still hanged tough and made it through. I recommend this book to anyone because there is so much excitement on every page. There isn’t any other book like this and I had a great time reading about Caroline and her father.
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