This novel asks the question, “How far will a parent go to protect their child from the world?” The story switches back and forth between a father who decides to take his young daughter to live in the woods permanently in the Northwest and a mother and son in the Ice Age. Both parents seek to keep their children safe from real (and from perceived) threats.
The problem with the book is that the two stories never fully merge thematically. It left the book feeling lopsided as the reader tries to make the switch between perspectives. There are also breakthrough chapters told from side characters that completely distract from the story being told. This unevenness was too much to overcome in my opinion. I typically like stories that are told from different points of view, but this one felt way too disjointed to be enjoyable or meaningful in any way.
I appreciate Evison’s motive of creating characters that are all deeply connected to the Earth, but I wasn’t able to fully embrace the symbolism because of the constant changes in perspective. Although I think he did a great job creating well-rounded characters with interesting backstories, this wasn’t enough for me to pull through the book with any feelings of goodwill. I also didn’t love the way the ending was presented (which makes it hard for me to end up liking the entire book).
*Free ARC provided by Algonquin Books in exchange for an honest review*