Two teens looking to get away from it all find exactly what they need in the Canadian wilderness.
Fifteen-year-old, brown-skinned Seth longs for family. Raised in foster homes, he was finally adopted only to find that he will never measure up to his adoptive mother’s expectations. When her new, cruel, and vulgar boyfriend begins hanging around, Seth takes to the woods. Without food, money, or equipment, it is doubtful he will make it far. Then he meets 18-year-old, white Brooke, who is running from her own problems. A domineering mother and an overachieving sister are almost enough to send her packing, and when she discovers she might be pregnant, she longs to get away. Seth and Brooke forge an unlikely friendship. They find that dehydration and hypothermia are a lot easier to treat than their broken hearts. Alternating chapters tell each of their stories. While Seth’s story is one of genuine abuse, Brooke’s is more about poor choices bringing difficult consequences. However, the differences are the strength of this brief novel. Pain is real to the one suffering, yet healing is available to those willing to be vulnerable to others. Lundgren’s sure hand guides Seth and Brooke toward hope and healing and avoids the trap of sentimentality.
A breath of fresh air lifts these familiar themes. (Fiction. 12-16)