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    Poignant and evocative prose

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Bellevue Literary Press, and Andrew Krivak for an ARC in exchange for an honest review of The Bear. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. A simple yet stunning story that fills you with wonder. No wonder Andrew Krivak won the National Book Award for Fiction. His prose evokes every sound in nature so you feel the wind on your face, the crunch of the leaves, the smell of the grass. A father and his daughter in an Eden-like world, long after man has disappeared from the earth. The father teaches the daughter the ways of the land and reminds us of a time when respect for those who we share the earth with was vital. But nature can be cruel and as they travel days to retrieve much needed salt from the ocean, the father dies. A bear who has been passed down the knowledge of language, accompanies the girl on her travels back home. This move at a serene pace, with a gentle push forward as the trials and tribulations that living off the land can bring. The relationship between the father and daughter is loving, tender, and so supportive. He is raising a strong independent girl that will know how to survive once he no longer is around. He tells her stories of her mother and the animals with awe and respect. He teaches her well because when the bear observes her, he does so also with respect. He sees the way she kills an animal, thanks the animal spirits, gives back to the land and uses all parts of the animal so nothing goes to waste. The bear helps her survive the trek back to her home. Their relationship is also beautiful and magical. But there is a third character, the land. She can be kind or cruel, is always magnificent. This is one of those special books that you can read over and over again. Each time you revisit the story, you will find something else to marvel about. I was entranced the whole time I was reading it. It really did transport me to a new world, I was sad to leave the characters and loved the prose. One of my favourite reads in a while.

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