The Bear

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An unnamed girl and her father are the only humans left on earth. The father teaches his daughter the ways of survival: how to hunt and fish and forage, how to make warm clothes and shoes, how to make arrowheads and bows. He tells her about her mother and shows her where she is buried: at the top of a mountain shaped like the head of a bear. Needing a new store of salt, the father leads the girl to the ocean, far from the home they know. Too soon, the girl is left alone. The desire to return home is all that sustains her as she searches for food and faces the freeze of winter. With intelligence and courage, she voyages relentlessly, relying on what she’s learned but also accepting the help she’s given from the natural world. Danger is always a blink away, and the girl lives easily alongside it. She has lived a life of loss, but loss does not define her.

Written in spare, beautiful prose that evokes the richness of the mountains, ocean, river, and forest through which the girl travels, The Bear is a fable that centers the earth and its inherent generosity toward those who treat it with respect. Life in the wilderness is brutal, the death of creatures essential so the girl can live, but the girl brings reverence to each kill, sometimes even leaving pieces of meat for other creatures to find. In a world drowning in careless excess, The Bear suggests another way, and the rewards are great.

Reviewed By:

Author Andrew Krivak
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date 2020-02-11
ISBN 9781942658702 Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category Popular Fiction


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