Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Join Margo Crane on her search for her mother as she lives off the land on the Stark River. This story is a coming-of-age-style adventure odyssey full of memorable, realistic characters and plenty of ethical and moral conundrums. Margo calms herself by target practicing, and is able to easily shoot the ash off of a cigarette from twelve paces. Her heroine is Annie Oakley, with whom she shares trick-shooting skills. She shoots, skins, cooks and eats squirrels and deer, perfecting her skills so she can start selling fur, using the money she earns for more ammunition.
After Margo's father is killed, she sets off down the river to find her mother, who had previously left under somewhat sketchy circumstances. On her journey down-river, she encounters a few other people, some helpful and some harmful, and she learns valuable lessons from each of them.
The writing is superb. I'll remember this book for a long time.
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