To the Mountain

Erik Raschke. Torrey House, $15.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-948814-33-1
Raschke follows The Book of Samuel with the rich and poignant story of an 11-year-old autistic boy’s wilderness survival odyssey. Marshall’s life in a juvenile reform center in remote southern Colorado, where he was sent by his father, Jace, after a violent outburst, is a nightmare. Marshall is constantly in trouble for fighting with the other boys and is placed in isolation until Leslie, a caretaker, helps him escape. Their van crashes on an icy road, seriously injuring Leslie. Using outdoor skills learned from his father, Marshall seeks his mother, whom he mistakenly believes has died and is waiting for him at the top of “The Mountain.” When Jace learns Marshall is missing, he drops everything to embark on a search, a decision made partly out of guilt for institutionalizing his son. Marshall, meanwhile, endures rough weather, dangerous terrain, and a coyote attack. Jace’s struggle to find Marshall, and Marshall’s to find his mother, trigger memories in both Jace and Marshall of hurt and misunderstanding. Raschke interprets the motifs of loss, separation, and renewal with keen storytelling chops and a distinctive lyrical style. This brief but riveting story has much to offer. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/16/2020
Genre: Fiction
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