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Review: The Bear

March 27, 2014

The Bear

Five-year old Anna is camping with her parents and her younger brother when a bear attacks the campsite.  Anna’s parents do all they can to protect their children but they’re still vulnerable, so Anna’s mother urges her to take her younger brother away in the family’s canoe.  Anna wants to be a good girl so she does as she’s told and the children find themselves fighting to stay alive.

Claire Cameron remembered the story of a bear attack that occurred during the 1990s in a park where she worked as a counselor.  Bear attacks are pretty rare so it was a hot topic of discussion at the time.  Cameron has taken her memories and research from that event and used them as the basis for her latest novel, The Bear.

The Bear is told from the point of view of five-year old Anna so it’s quite disjointed and unfocused at times.  I was excited to start the book and was initially put off by Anna’s voice.  She seemed younger than the five-year olds I know.  I thought I would adjust to her voice but I never really did.   I got used to it but I never grew fond of it, if that makes sense.

The story is told through Anna’s thoughts and Cameron uses their flightiness (for lack of a better word) to fill readers in on Anna’s back story.  Sometimes it took me a little while to catch on to what Anna meant.  I guess that was the whole point but it kept me from getting truly invested in Anna’s story.  In the end, I enjoyed the book but didn’t love it the way most people have.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
22 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2014 6:05 am

    Oh too bad. But I know what you mean about not being able to relate to a character’s voice. I’m not sure I’d do any better with young Anna’s story.

  2. March 27, 2014 6:48 am

    At least you liked it enough to finish it.

  3. March 27, 2014 9:43 am

    Oh too bad you didn’t enjoy it. I have this one on hold at the library. I’m #29 on the hold list.

  4. March 27, 2014 10:58 am

    I admit to not being really drawn to this book just from the description. I am sorry you didn’t like it more, Kathy. Even with the rave reviews of it, I am not sure this book is for me. You never know though.

  5. Patty permalink
    March 27, 2014 11:34 am

    I tend to feel the way Literary Feline feels…I have seen this around but have not wanted to read it.

  6. March 27, 2014 11:42 am

    I am not sure if this is for me, but people do seem to be loving it… It kind of makes me think of ROOM and how I didn’t connect with the young voice in that book, either. Have to think about it.

  7. March 27, 2014 12:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing your review!

  8. March 27, 2014 1:24 pm

    Kathy, thanks for your honest review!

  9. March 27, 2014 1:55 pm

    thanks for stopping by, YES we are very tired of snow/cold.

  10. March 27, 2014 2:23 pm

    I don’t think I can do this one. It sounds parental-terrifying in much the same way ROOM was.

  11. March 27, 2014 3:37 pm

    That’s pretty unusual about a kids’ voice seeming too young. Usually the kid, be it 5 or 10, sounds more like 20!

  12. March 27, 2014 6:30 pm

    I have heard a lot about this book and have been wanting to read it. But if Anna’s voice did not work you, it most certainly won’t for me. I really struggle with young narrators.

  13. March 27, 2014 7:52 pm

    what a shame this one didn’t resonate but I can certainly understand not investing with the narrator ~ can really make a novel not quite up to par

  14. sandynawrot permalink
    March 28, 2014 6:51 am

    I loved ROOM, even though that really had a unique child’s voice. But generally I have trouble with books narrated by kids. It is even worse when it is an audio. It almost doesn’t even matter if the author has 10 kids, it is hard to get the voice right.

  15. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea permalink
    March 28, 2014 7:10 am

    Having Anna tell the story was like reading ROOM for me. It was hard to get use to a young narrator but enjoyed it a lot.

  16. March 28, 2014 9:08 pm

    I’m interested in the true story but not so much with the book.

  17. March 29, 2014 4:58 am

    nice honest review. Not sure it would grab me

  18. bookingmama permalink
    March 29, 2014 6:53 pm

    I can see why it was a little hard to get used to a young narrator.

  19. March 29, 2014 9:56 pm

    Thanks for your honest review. Child narrators are a hit or miss kind of thing.

  20. swright9 permalink
    March 31, 2014 3:41 pm

    A child narrator might be tough for me. I think I’ll hold off on this one. thanks

  21. April 2, 2014 8:00 pm

    One of my coworkers loved this, so I may still give it a try. Sounds like a difficult read, but I’m intrigued…

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