ALL ALONE by Claire Huchet Bishop


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A tense story of two French shepherd boys sent to the mountains for the summer with their family flocks that could have been thoroughly exciting if its moralistic outcome were not so incredible. As the town of Monestier near Mont Blanc has a mutually hostile population, both Marcel's and Pierre's fathers have told them to help or speak to none while at pasture. But the inevitable happens. Pierre falls asleep; his heifers wander; Marcel cares for them and takes them to water where he runs into Pierre and, after a fight, befriends him. Then a storm and a landslide lock them in a ravine which will prove they have talked to and helped each other. The tide of enmity turns too quickly after rescue when thankful townspeople begin to realize that cooperation is better than competition; they subsequently reward the boys and plan to work together on their pasturing. Except for this speedy about face, perhaps a necessary simplification of issues demanded at this age, it's a fine portrayal of the boys' own immediate reactions.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1953
Publisher: Viking