THE HUNTER'S HEART by Judy Carole Rhodes


Age Range: 11 - 13
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 Another old man's tragic past comes to light in a flimsy thematic reprise of The King Boy (1991). Two years after his abusive grandfather's death, Benjy is struggling to keep his Arkansas farm going. Ready to quit, he calls on gray-bearded friend Coot Hunter, who introduces him to Wolf, Doe, and Little Hawk, First Americans living as far from ``civilization'' as they can get. Heartened because at least no one can take away his home, Benjy returns to the farm. Enter Sara Brown, searching for her long-lost father; Benjy conveniently finds a telling photo and extracts from Coot a sad tale of a young mother who killed herself, a drunken father, and self-righteous relatives who beat him nearly to death and took his baby girl. A tearful reunion ensues. Along with a plot punctuated with extraneous incidents, and characters who speak in colorful similes and vague platitudes, the portrayals of Wolf (painted face and stilted speech) and Doe (whose only apparent purpose here is to die in childbirth because Wolf refuses to summon a doctor) are insensitive at best. An abrupt shift from Benjy's story to Sara's and Hunter's roils the ending. Altogether, an awkward, rough-hewn construct. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1993
ISBN: 0-02-775935-0
Page count: 184pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993