WALKAWAY by Alden R. Carter

WALKAWAY

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“Sometimes I think I’ve been waiting for that crash my whole life,” Andy muses when his drunken father nearly crushes him with the family car. The moment sums up 15-year-old Andy’s life with his dysfunctional family. When his father is involved in another accident, he pressures fledgling driver Andy to take responsibility, heightening his son’s mental anguish. Having heard of the Aboriginal practice of a walkabout, Andy chooses to pit himself against the Wisconsin wilderness, calling his journey a walkaway—a walkabout with purpose. Methodically, Carter reveals that Andy became catatonic after an earlier episode with his father and how, alone and unmediated, his behavior becomes every bit as aberrant as his father’s binges, in a realistic depiction of the complicated co-dependent relationship between alcoholic father and child. Despite the contemporary setting, occasionally stilted dialogue and overly detailed descriptive passages make the novel feel dated. However, the interactions between Andy and his addicted father are achingly authentic, providing a painful yet hopeful glimpse into the volatile life of an addict and his son. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2106-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008




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