Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Once Upon A River

This is a story about Margo Crane, a young girl living on the river in rural Michigan in the 1970s. Abandoned by her mother and raised by her father, she is left alone and estranged from her family when her father is killed during a family argument.  Nicknamed "Sprite," she is very much a woodland creature, rarely speaking and always observing. Margo takes off up the Stark River in a teak boat built by her grandfather, supposedly to look for her mother. Along the way, a lot of bad things happen to her, but Margo is one tough young girl, and becomes an expert at hunting and skinning deer and squirrels and pretty much any other animal she meets along the way. She lives off  the land and the river, inspired always by the survival skills of her hero, Annie Oakley.  Margo makes some bad decisions along the way, and it’s easy to forget that she is only 16 years old.  What I liked most about the book was the strong sense of place—the river is almost a character itself, so vividly described that you feel like you could be there. The wildlife, the fish, the water, the woods, these are the things that comfort Margo.  My book group discussed this book last night, and while reactions were mixed,  I really enjoyed the book-- it's not a plot-driven story, but a quieter study of a young girl trying to understand the world around her. 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked it too, tell your book club to get a life. biff