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Left of the Rising Sun (Heartland Book 4) by…
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Left of the Rising Sun (Heartland Book 4)

by John Holland

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This is a story about endurance against all odds. At its center is ten years old Buck Brown, who is most comfortable in the back of things, as an observer. “This invisibility helped him hear lots of things not meant for young ears.” Oh his flight home, you know that things will go from bad to worst in a hurry as the pilot says, “Been flying blind a bit, used a bit of gas, but I think we know about where we are.”

At first we watch the landscape from above, “Far below, a patchwork quilt of dry savannah country unfurled beneath the plane.” During the crush, objects come at us fast and furious: “Tall trees loomed close. An explosion of sound tore through the plane throwing everyone forward. Something hit Buck in the back of the head. Everything went black for a brief instant of tortured time. When he came to, muddy billabong water sprayed over the windshield and windows, partially blocking out the light.”

The landscape is a character in this story, and together with the sole survivor, Buck, we experience it in an intimate way, forming a partnership with nature. Figuring out how to make his journey back home, a distance of 400 kilometers, he invents ways of hunting and gathering in this harsh environment. He strikes a friendship with Sammy, an old, blind man. “Nights were a time for talk around the fire. Buck loved the fact that Sammy never talked to him as if he were a child.”

Through the conversations with Sammy, we hear Buck’s longing for home, for his mom and dad. “That night they ate the snake. It tasted a bit like the goanna had tasted and that had tasted a bit like greasy chicken. Buck was amazed at how easily this was coming to him now. His mother had always complained he was a ‘picky eater.’”

This is not only about his survival, but about how the journey forces him to mature. If he makes it home, will he be able to enjoy school games, will he regain a child’s innocence, or will this harrowing experience change him forever?

Five stars. ( )
  Uvi_Poznansky | Nov 2, 2014 |
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