Title: The Bear
Author: Claire Cameron
Genre: Adult – Contemporary/Suspense
Release Date: November 6th, 2014
Published by: Vintage (Random House)
★ I received this from Vintage Publishing for review. As always, my reviews are fair and non-bias. ★
Anna is five. Her little brother, Stick, is almost three.
They are camping with their parents in Algonquin Park, in three thousand square miles of wilderness. It’s the perfect family trip. But then Anna awakes in the night to the sound of something moving in the shadows. Her father is terrified. Her mother is screaming. Then, silence.
Alone in the woods, it is Anna who has to look after Stick, battling hunger and the elements to stay alive. Narrated by Anna, this is white-knuckle storytelling that captures the fear, wonder and bewilderment of our worst nightmares – and the power of one girl’s enduring love for her family.
The Bear sounded like a movie when I read the synopsis, like a fight for survival. But what gave my reading habits a change up was that this is straight from young children, with there being little adult voice. I love that I haven’t read anything similar to The Bear before, so going into it without knowing what it would be like was exciting.
Anna is the narrator, a five-year old girl on a camping trip with her Parents and little brother; Stick, who is almost three. There isn’t another family around or anything for miles, wilderness surrounding them – and for a little while it seems like this is a perfect little family holiday – until disaster strikes in the most strange form.
In the middle of the night, Anna doesn’t know why her father is scared or why her mother is screaming – she never yells. So when her and Stick are put to a somewhat momentary safe location by their father, Anna thinks everything will be okay. Her father will come and get them, or maybe her mother.
But soon enough, Anna realizes that they are alone in their struggle. That she must look after Stick and keep him safe, no matter what happens. They battle hunger, darkness and scares in the woods, trying desperately to stay alive and find someone. Obstacles throw Anna and Stick, but Anna’s bravery keeps them together. Although five-year old Anna can’t comprehend what’s happening and where her Parents are truly, she is loyal and focused. Her thought patterns are impulsive and scared, then frustrated – but she doesn’t give up trying to keep her and Stick alive.
The Bear is quite extraordinary. I’ve never read such a gripping, emotional and thought-provoking novel that battles the struggle of a child trying to comprehend a tragedy without any parental guidance or any guidance at all. Claire has written a believable, striking book with characters that no doubt seem real like the inspiration for the novel itself. I found myself hooked to Anna’s voice and felt determined for Anna and Stick on their journey. The ending couldn’t have been more perfect. It was not only an overall incredible story, but will stay with me for a very long time.
Compelling, intense and exceptional, once you’ve read The Bear – it will be remembered.
Anna’s love for her family was a moment-pause and awe inspiring note.
For Adult Contemporary fans of Suspense and Thrills.
Thanks to the amazing people at Random House, I get to give away THREE copies of “The Bear”, you can enter here, Goodreads and on Twitter! So if you’re interested in reading it, enter below!
Open: UK only
Have you read The Bear?
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