Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

By Jean Hegland

Hegland's powerfully imagined first novel will make readers grateful for phones and CD gamers whereas it underscores the vulnerability of lives depending on know-how. the story is decided within the close to destiny: electrical energy has failed, mail supply has stopped and looting and violence have destroyed civil order. In Northern California, 32 miles from the nearest city, orphaned teenage sisters ration a dwindling offer of tea baggage and infested cornmeal. They be mindful their mother's warnings in regards to the close by wooded area, yet because the hindrance deepens, bears and wild pigs begin to appear much less risky than people. From the 1st web page, the experience of problem and the lucid, sincere voice of the 17-year-old narrator pull the reader in, and the struggle for survival provides an pressing facet to her coming-of-age tale. Flashbacks well create a portrait of the misplaced relatives: an iconoclastic father, inventive mom and autonomous daughters. The plot attracts readers alongside while that the main points and brilliant writing motivate rereading. consuming a sizzling puppy begins with "the pillowy supply of the bun," and the iciness rains are "great silver needles sewing the boring sky to the sodden earth." If occasionally the lyricism is going a bit too a long way, this can be nonetheless a very admirable addition to a style outlined by way of the very excessive criteria of George Orwell's 1984 and Russell Hoban's Ridley Walker.

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Sample text

5 And they never drew ncar. ;\lonth comes and month goes. In numbers the scholars assembled, to attend the law from Ezekiel's lips, and the academy was filled with holy lore. Gracious learning was on his tongue, and whatever his mode of expounding-simple or subtle or mystic-bright angels gathered around him, shedding the light of the law on his brow. But e\'en as he teaches, anguish gna\vs at his heart, as though-God forbid ! -he lacks gratitude for having been deemed worthy to go up to the Holy Land.

Father's town and m\· father certainh· . would insist that I stay at home. and not allow me to go to inns or hotels . \r1d s econd-l've forgotten the second reason. \\'ben I took leave of the old woman I started to run, for it was Father's custom to sit down to the Passover meal immediately follO\\ing senices. \\ ni le I \Yas running. it OC· curred to me that I might have passed his house. I raised mv eves to s ee. :\ h· eYes shut themselves firmh·. and I did .. . . not see a thing. \\'ith great effort I opened them just a narrow crack.

Y. AGNON and the great ones of the city, assessing his virtues, were dazzled by a tongue dropping pearls, and by his regal pres­ ence. Then the \\'edding day arri\'ed. They accompanied the bride to the house of the rabbi, to recei,·e her blessing from his lips. " They left her with the rabbi. She told him all that had happened, how it was she who had 0\·erturned the Ark. The rabbi stood mute ,,·ith terror, his \'ery vision was confounded. But, deferring to the eminence of the bride on this, her day of grace and atonement, began to ply her with comfort.

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