CBR11 BINGO: Far and Away (BINGO! Remix square to Reading the TBR square)
This book has been repeatedly recommended to me via various online trickery. On the surface it seems like something that I would like: a book set in the wilds of Alaska. I dig nature. I like reading books where the pioneer spirit triumphs against all odds because I would die 3 days into that sort of thing and because I was borderline obsessed with Holly Hobbie and Little House on the Prairie when I was little. Alaska is also pretty far from me geographically and thus fits the Far and Away square. The truth is that I wish that I had kept far and away from this book. One other unfortunate Cannonballer has read this and why didn’t I see lowercasee‘s warning before I read 438 pages that could have been about 250 pages or better yet just a Lifetime movie?
When Leni is entering adolescence, her father, Ernt, is gifted a chunk of land in the Alaskan wilderness. Suffering from PTSD after three years as a POW in Vietnam, Ernt seizes this opportunity to relocate his family and start over. However, the isolation of living outside of a small town in the Alaskan bush with dangerous and very dark winters only exacerbates Ernt’s paranoia and anger management issues. While the story of how Leni, and her parents learn how to survive in such unforgiving conditions is an interesting one, the relentless cycle of Ernt physically abusing his wife, controlling his daughter, and pissing off the townspeople who help him TO SURVIVE, is not.
The passages about the Alaskan landscape and the vivid and eclectic characters that inhabit it worked for me, but both are eventually buried by the main story line. There is also some very exasperating dialogue and super repetitive writing. Perhaps it is more a problem of editing? I don’t know.
Actually, I am a bit angry about this book. I was into the first 1/3 of the book before the one note plot line became monotonous. Hannah just spins her characters into a vicious circle until a invisible stage manager signals to “wrap it up!” and a hasty and pretty unbelievable ending is delivered. Very disappointing.
But….I got that BINGO!