Plot: Taken by her father when she was eight years old, Peggy grew up in the wilderness. In a cabin in the middle of nowhere, believing that her and her Papa were the last two people on Earth. But when she starts to see signs that another man is nearby, Peggy is no longer sure what is real and what is a lie.
Finding civilisation again is a task almost too great for Peggy – how can she fit in after so long alone? But finding out the truth of what happened while she was gone, of understanding, is even harder.
Quote: `I threw a stone into it, expecting ripples, as though it were a pool reflecting my world back to me, but the stone bounced down the rocks and into the undergrowth. My father had been mistaken. The Great Divide wasn’t an infinite blackness but a mirror image of our world.`
Opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The dual narration kept me gripped – you know where Peggy ends up, then it is just a matter of discovering how she gets there. The book is fast paced and switches between the narrations smoothly, keeping the reader engaged throughout.
There were moments of the plot that I predicted. I had a feeling about one aspect in particular (no spoilers here) and was right. But that didn’t disappoint. For while I was right about the existence of one thing, it threw everything else into chaos. A twist at the end of the story suddenly had me doubting about how much of what Peggy had seen and done was even real.
The characters were good. The father was a character you both loved and hated at the same time – it was hard to see him as the bad guy (until the end), but he also was not the good guy because of the way he treated Peggy. For a girl growing up in the wilderness with no contact, Peggy’s character was surprisingly mature, but done in a realistic way. The dual narration helped – her age was more believable in London and this blended with her narration in the wilderness as well.
The writing itself was strong. To work the characters in such a way, to have the whole setting, situation and their survival believable, it had to be. Fuller does not try to be fancy with her writing, nor does she need to. The attention to detail can be a little extreme at times – the description of how they created a piano seemed to drag – but does not happen often enough to really slow the pace of the book. With the dual narration, the pace needed to be swift to keep you engaged – otherwise you know the outcome so why bother reading the journey of how she gets there?
This book was an enjoyable read for me. While it wasn’t a heart-racing pulse-pounding book, it kept me engaged the whole way through. The twist at the end made it jump from okay to good.