Author: Jonathan Evision
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Book Description: Dave Cartwright used to be good at a lot of things: good with his hands, good at solving problems, good at staying calm in a crisis. But on the heels of his third tour in Iraq, the fabric of Dave’s life has begun to unravel. Gripped by PTSD, he finds himself losing his home, his wife, his direction. Most days, his love for his seven-year-old daughter, Bella, is the only thing keeping him going. When tragedy strikes, Dave makes a dramatic decision: the two of them will flee their damaged lives, heading off the grid to live in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
As they carve out a home in a cave in that harsh, breathtaking landscape, echoes of its past begin to reach them. Bella retreats into herself, absorbed by visions of a mother and son who lived in the cave thousands of years earlier, at the end of the last ice age. Back in town, Dave and Bella themselves are rapidly becoming the stuff of legend—to all but those who would force them to return home.
As winter sweeps toward the North Cascades, past and present intertwine into a timeless odyssey. Poignant and profound, Legends of the North Cascades brings Jonathan Evison’s trademark vibrant, honest voice to bear on an expansive story that is at once a meditation on the perils of isolation and an exploration of the ways that connection can save us.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: Dave Cartwright is a veteran, husband and father. He has returned from Iraq after his third tour there and is suffering from PTSD. One thing that keeps him steady is his relationship with his daughter.
When the book opens Dave and his wife are having martial issues. When she leaves the house after a fight, a terrible accident occurs and Dave is left to care for his daughter, Bella. After trying to get back to normal, he makes a decision that he and Bella can’t live this life any longer. He decides to move them to the mountains and live in a cave.
Bella is sweet, smart and kind, and all she wants is to be with her father. Her extended family wants her back with them and out of the cave. They collect her, but eventually she winds back with her dad.
You can imagine, authorities are monitoring them, social workers are involved, but only a harrowing accident might get them down from the mountains.
This is not a book I would normally read, but the longer I sit with it, the more I am thinking this will be a story that stays with me for a long time. Your heart strings will pull for this father-daughter duo and their continued bond.
Thank you NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.