TITLE: The Bear
AUTHOR: Andrew Krivak
It's been a long time since I read a book like this. Relatively short, compelling though not a traditional pageturner, sparse and lyrical, with the simplest of plotlines. A girl and her father, living in a cabin by a lake, surrounded by mountains, perhaps the only two humans left on Earth, the father determined to teach his daughter all she needs to know to survive. And those skills are tested when she's left alone in an unfamiliar place, with only a bear to guide her home. Krivak is a skilled narrator and the book feels as if he's telling a story while seated at a campfire. I happily admit he had me teary-eyed by the end.
Reading this while the COVID-19 pandemic is raging might not have been the best choice, but it's a beautiful book about one girl learning to live in nature, where she'll have to do for herself everything needed to survive, and that's something that resonates at a time when we're all facing an uncertain future. The girl has to learn to listen to the natural world, to the animals and the trees and every living thing between them, something we all should probably learn to do, too.