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My Abandonment [PDF / EPUB] My Abandonment A thirteen year old girl and her father live in Forest Park the enormous nature preserve in Portland Oregon There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter bathe in a nearby creek store perishables at th A thirteen year old girl and her father live in Forest Park the enormous nature preserve in Portland Oregon There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter bathe 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 flightInspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of a young narrator Caroline Peter Rock's My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope .

10 thoughts on “My Abandonment

  1. says:

    I like this book in a similar way to how I enjoyed Room they are both innocent perspectives Coincidentally I didn’t realize My Abandonment was based on actual events or that it was meant to be YA it was recommended to me by a goodreads page that is definitely adult I figured out it was actual events pretty fast because it states that some things actually did happen at the beginning of the book The story is of a man and his daughter who were discovered living in a park and as I read I could tell it clearly follows the actual story for the first half of the book and then it became clear that no one knows what happened to these people for the second half I have found out since that no one knows what happened These parts are blurry to me and even the climax was poorly described and left me wondering what actually happened It did make fun of stupid kids who drink to be cool which I enjoyed but at the end I was left wondering too much including details that the book supposedly described

  2. says:

    As a Portland resident it was fun to hear descriptions of the city and Forest Park I enjoyed the writing style from 13 year old Caroline's perspectiveAfter reading some news stories about the true story behind this novel it's even intriguing to me

  3. says:

    Let me start with the following I am so freaking confused by this bookWhen I read the back of the book I knew it was about a father and his 13 year old kid and they're trucking around all of Portland and living in the woods and all that That much is true And before I attempted to really get into the book I did some research on here and found that mostly it was well liked and the ones that weren't well liked well didn't give enough reason for me to be completely turned offMy issues aren't that it's not well written It's written just fine I guess my issue is that it's very bland I went and did this And then I did this And then I turned the corner making sure I was away from Father It's very dry I never get into the mind of this character the book is through the daughter's perspective I never understand how she is feeling or what is going on with her psyche I mean this guy is basically shlepping her around these random places and you have no idea where they're going or what she REALLY thinks of it And that just bugs meWhat also bugs me is the fact that the father is a bit on the creeper side He continuously calls his daughter my heart whichjust freaks me out I don't know it rubs me the wrong way I was worried that at any moment it was going to get incestuous because the relationship between these two individuals is justnot healthy I get why she might be clingy to her father seeing as I don't know she's been living like a nomad for about four years of her formative life in the woods but the way her father brushes her hair and says all these things to her sounds like he's in love with her and not caring for her in a father to daughter relationship Another thing that really bugs me is the fact that the father is clearly not right in the head and I don't ever think it is established how un right in the head he is It's just one big ball of confusing mass he keeps saying they're being watched and eventually his excuses of move move move get so grating and annoying that every time he talks about them being watched I literally react like this Maybe I'm being too harsh but do you know when you finally figure shit out? Like in the last twenty pages That's frustrating as hell While I kept reading it because I was nervous that something awful was going to happen to the girl the ending is justridiculous There are so many uestions I want to ask and I want to understand but I can't because the book never actually answers anything I don't know I just feel like this book was 200 pages of nothing I really didn't understand anything that was going on This girl had someone who may have been her father? May not have been her father? I'm just sitting here confused I feel robbed I want those hours back and I want them back now

  4. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book It was a fast thought provoking read; but it left me with many unanswered uestions particulary since it was based on a true case The beginning of the book seemed to include many facts that had been published in news articles but the ending was Peter Rock's fictional version I found some of this not to fit the characters The reference to Elizabeth Smart in the Acknowledgments was disturbing to me

  5. says:

    A compelling and thought provoking book I live in Portland so I was familiar with the setting in Forest Park the city I was also familiar with the true story behind this novel A father daughter spent four years living in Forest Park in a shelter the father built He home schooled the daughter using his own knowledge a set of encyclopedias The father was a veteran had a small military pension so they were able to go into the city buy groceries clothing as needed go to the library They used a nearby creek for washing grew vegetables When they were found living there the girl age 12 13 tested far above average academicallyPeter Rock’s book is based on their story takes off from there Caroline is the narrator though I’ve read some criticism of Rock’s writing in this regard I thought it was very well done Her voice is simultaneously innocent and fierce; very detached yet filled with the ghost of hidden anger sadness Rock uses Caroline’s perspective language ability – which is high but spare in its expression – throughout It’s apparent that Father taught Caroline many things – but he never taught her much about feelings or how to express them When he wants to talk to her about important things he does so in a very factual way or he uotes from his favorite writers Caroline is never going to do “the reveal” Her life is all about hiding She is reporting what she wants us to know that’s all you’re going to get I enjoyed the spare detached uality of the writing which seemed sometimes elegiac sometimes so brutally factual I could hardly breathe I find my reaction to many books is that they need an editor This is not one of those The first part of the book is almost idyllic as you learn about Father Caroline’s lives in the park The relationship between them seems sweet at first – but always has an edge that leaves you wondering Of course they are eventually found the rest of the book focuses on their journey after that One thing I really enjoyed about the book was its very subtle creepiness What sounds idyllic isn’t First foremost we’re not really sure about Caroline’s relationship with Father We know that they care for one another as best they can in their own ways But we know Caroline is in or entering puberty – and an unanswered uestion is how this might affect her relationship with Father When they're not in the woods things can be scary Caroline talks about living in a hotel that’s about to be torn down how she has to negotiate through the partially ruined building stay locked up when Father isn’t there to stay safe Father negotiates with people who are stealing transporting copper wire There is some harrowing information about people who are tapping into electricity Caroline finally reveals a little about her past which brings up other uestions about her relationship with Father My heart stopped for a moment when she mentions – in passing – handcuffs Who is Father really? Rock is genius at giving a mostly sympathetic portrayal of a man who was at best unconventional caring smart a victim of PTSD – or at worst a kidnapper child molester high functioning mentally ill person These glimpses of who Father is or might be left me wondering which was fine with me I also thought Rock's handling of Father’s gradual deterioration was very well done I thought Father as a character maintained his integrity throughout Can a good man be misguided? Of course Can an evil man be good in some ways? Who knows? Which kind of man was Father “really”? As a reader you have to form your own conclusions In Caroline we see that we all learn from our circumstances and upbringing no matter what that is though we might be horrified by what’s happened to her we also see that she’s strong intelligent resourceful – and detached Another source of subtle creepiness comes when Caroline starts to wonder about having a companion that she can bring into her life We are left wondering Is she just lonely at that point? Does she think of her father think I too can choose someone make them mine? How will this play out for her? I think some reviewers felt confused by her actions toward the end She seems to be reaching for what we might call “normal life” with one hand rejecting it with the other I found this to be understandable within her character also It’s pretty clear to me that she wantsboth How would you not? I also loved the play on words themes that comes from thinking about “abandonment” within the context of this book “Every problem I have comes from believing something to be true that is not true” Caroline writes in her journal This is a powerful statement that might apply to most of us In Caroline’s case particularly so This book brings up and leaves unanswered many uestions If you need your books tied up with neat pretty little ribbons so that you “know” what happened every character is typed and labeled you won’t like it If you like to think draw your own conclusions you want a book with compelling characters subtle creepiness interesting setting yay Oregon a story that will stick with you this is for you

  6. says:

    Even though I have alredy sent this I am updating for my Best of 2009 list and this review goes along with Jennie Shortridge's WHEN SHE FLEWBoth of these are based on the true story of the father and pre teen daughter who lived off the grid in Portland’s Forest Park for four years but each author treats the story a little differently Rock’s story is told in an almost surreal and disassociated manner and Shortridge delivers of an emotional punch Both are interesting and would be great for book groupsIf you want to read of what I previously wroteUpdate Again I really wish they had5 stars because this really does fall in between 4 and 5 starsIn 2004 a man and his 12 year old daughter were found living in Portland's Forest Park and had been doing so for 4 years The girl was clean well fed and well educated but they were forced to leave A police officer found them housing and work on a horse farm in Yamhill County but five days later they disappeared never to be heard from againThe author a writing professor at Reed College has written a novel based on this event and the first half is based on their life in Forest Park In the second half of the book he imagines what happened to them after they left the horse farm This took a strange little twist and some of the girl's experiences didn't seem uite realistic I won't say for fear of a spoiler but for the most part I found it fascinatingOne weird event happened for me though This past week I was attending the library conference while also trying to finish the book When I neared the end of the story the girl in the story described the Sisters Library to a T and also mentioned the librarian's name which was Peg Well Peg was the actual librarian at the Sisters Library AND was also at the conference I was able to show her the passage and she got really excited Stranger than fiction

  7. says:

    When I read the blurb for this book I couldn't wait to read it Totally my kind of story mixing human relationships against the backdrop of nature And it didn't disappoint; in fact it exceeded expectations I didn't expect it to be so well written Why? I admit I'd never heard of writer Peter Rock before But based on this book I hope he has some awards waiting for him down the road He's another one of those writers who flies under the radar because they don't get the big promo deals But I thought this book was MUCH impressive than Mathilda Savage and from what I've been reading on goodreads could even compete with Room If you can take a few dark scenes I guarantee you this book will have you mesmerized with its story telling ability and pitch perfect prose HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDUpdate 1618 Rented a movie this weekend from the library Leave No Trace 2018 A little ways in realized it seemed awfully similar to one of my favorite novels Worried Rock was getting ripped off Then realized it WAS based on Rock's powerful novel While my preference is still for the book for fans of this story do see the movie Beautifully acted

  8. says:

    Spare prose and an intriguing narrative with a narrator whose view of the world has been skewed by her unusual experiences with Father living in a cave in the forest park in Portland as well as the streets and condemned hotels of the city Caroline's judgment is clouded by her love for Father and her need to continue their routines and follow his leadSPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT The fact that Caroline wasn't who she had made herself believe she was kidnapped at 10 from her foster family was not a huge surprise but somewhat of a surprise as the narrative was steering me towards thinking her father was paranoid schizophrenic which would explain why he always thought people were watching him The whole psychology that Caroline has bought into in order to live her life the way Father has convinced her it must be lived means that even when she is free of Father in the physical sense he is still guiding her thoughts and actions She returns to the suburb where she was taken and realizes she is not like the people there or who she was when she lived among them Functionally she's an almost adult but she still retains the values that he taught her to be self reliant not to let people know too much about her to be constantly aware and in harmony with nature But there's also that creepy part that he taught her to look for someone not unlike who she was at 10 to be her daughtercompanionThe whole scene with Susan and Paul who they met in the yurt with all the electrical wires during the snowstorm was extremely creepy Who were those people? Had Susan kidnapped Paul at a young age which would make them like us to Father's way of thinking? Was she using crystal meth or something along those lines which would explain the lack of affect? That Caroline pulled Father who had been electrocuted on the sled hid him during the party in the cave and afterwards found a place to secrete his body in the depths of the cave where he would not be found was fascinating This is an extremely thought provoking difficult read You want to root for Caroline and yet her choices are not the ones that most of us would make but they make sense given her circumstances

  9. says:

    I had forgotten that My Abandonment was largely based on a true story The author's website haspdf copies of the articles he was drawing from Somebody from Oregon and maybe the Pacific Northwest in general might remember when this was in the news but I wasn't familiar with it The second half of the book is Rock's imagined version of what might have happened to Frank and Ruthie in this book the girl is called Caroline and her father goes by several names after they vanishedEntirely told in Caroline's straightforward even oddly matter of fact voice My Abandonment is a look at a life that's perfectly entirely normal to Caroline and completely alien to me and most readers She and her father live in a hidden camp in a national park apparently living off of his military pension It's definitely a strange way of life but her father obviously loves her very much in his own way and has been trying to provide for her in his own way It's pointed out that Caroline is very bright and has been remarkably well educated mostly from reading encyclopedias And yet bright as she is there's also an emotional strangeness to her voice probably from being a teenager with the same level of exposure to society at large as a small child would I liked that she was by no means a weak character even though she did defer to her fatherLater in the book Rock weaves in a few strands of story from the Elizabeth Smart case which I'm uncomfortable about Ruthie and Frank are real people after all and presumably still alive I am not comfortable with writing a book transparently and obviously based on their life stories and adding an entirely new element to it view spoilerIt's heavily heavily implied though never outright stated that Caroline's father actually kidnapped her as a small child and raised her to believe that she was his daughter hide spoiler

  10. says:

    spoiler alertI found this retelling of an actual event where a girl was found living with her dad in Forest Park in Portland really compelling until the last 50 pages or so when the main character a young girl who was explained with such compassion throughout the first 34 of the books starts acting completely out of character Throughout the book we're reminded that she's a self sufficient highly intelligent 13 year old Then there's a scene where she runs into a fellow homeless peer who tells her a horrific story of the girls make shift family being fried alive trying to siphon some electricity from a transformer A couple of pages later when her dad goes off the rails and spirits her into the mountains outside Bend they hide out in a yurt with some transients that are clearly is siphoning electricity as they can feel the buzz of electricity on their skin But she doesn't acknowledge this at all or freak out And then her dad dies a horrific death yes the electricity and she only talks to herself about how it was his own fault for not being clever enough Really about the man who was her father and her entire world? Ever resourceful she becomes unrealistically cold like a psychopath Even in my amateur writers groups I know that if someone presented this to the group we would all talk about not understanding the character's final motivations not finding the last 50 pages at all believable I thought it was an odd choice and dashed much of my enjoyment of the book

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