(Finished October 5, 2011)
For a book touted as a heroine survival story, Margo doesn’t seem like much of a heroine. Call me a feminist, but when you practically rely on men for your survival during your entire “journey”, it doesn’t really make you a heroine.
Margo lets things happen to her. She does. Sure, she can be resourceful. And I know she is just doing what she can with what she knows. But again, for a heroine, she is rather short-sighted. And her quickness with a gun — well, it gets her in trouble more often than it helps her.
Life had to be tough for an outcast only daughter in rural Michigan, this much I understand. You’re the only child of your grandfather’s illegitimate son. That’s tough. But for the most part, Margo’s family seems to accept her. Until her uncle does something unthinkable. And she tries to get revenge.
Revenge isn’t always the answer.
My favorite part about this book was the author’s descriptions of life on the river. I love Michigan, and I enjoyed reading about the river, its twists and turns, its creatures and its inhabitants. In some ways, it seems idyllic. In other lights, it seems almost barbaric. I do think Margo is brave for facing so much on her own. For killing her own food, skinning it and all. I couldn’t do that. But then again, I didn’t grow up on a river.
I almost feel sorry for the guys who come into Margo’s life. Especially Michael. He is a good man, and she takes total advantage of him. And I seriously don’t like how she sleeps with all the men who help her. Really, a heroine?
Margo lies a lot too, and I’m not really sure that makes a good heroine.
I read so many rave reviews of this book, and it makes me sad that I didn’t like it as much. But, to each her own. And I plan to never live on my own on a river. Ever.
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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