13-year-old Charlie Hall is struggling, lost, and alone after his mother’s death, his father’s emotional retreat, and after graduating to the lowest rung of the junior high ladder, 7th grade. Wandering the mountainous woods behind his rural Idaho home, Charlie hurts deeply, silently.
While fishing one day, Charlie startles a hungry mountain lion who moves in close to pounce. Charlie, near panic, gears up for the fight of his life. Just then, an enormous grizzly bear—thought to be extinct in the area—rears from the forest on its hind legs, scaring the lion away. Charlie, noting the bear’s sharp teeth and claws, thinks his fate is now far worse, but soon learns that a deadly mauling is not in the cards.
Something is very, very different about this bear, a Grizzly called Emory, and his strange kindness toward Charlie is only the start. Emory has an important message for the world and, in delivering it, he helps Charlie reconnect with his father, allowing both to discover that they can and will survive their devastating grief.
WHAT AUTHOR W. BRUCE CAMERON DOES RIGHT
I gave Cameron high marks for his previous book, A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans (affiliate link), because his narrative surprised me. He carefully constructed countless opportunities to derive meaning in new a way, a dog’s way, asking very human questions about life’s purpose and the human/dog relationship.
Emory’s Gift: A Novel (affiliate link) reveals an entirely different side of Cameron’s writing, one that so intuitively spells out the intricacies of life through the eyes of a young, endearing boy. I became putty in his turn of phrase, his hand-picked words lifting, drifting and intertwining the delicate balance – and sometimes imbalance – of the immense love we feel when hurt by others’ pain, our anger at loving so deeply during times of loss, and the sweet joys of friendship, family, rekindled connections and shared understanding.
While I haven’t yet finished the book – leaving no chance for a spoiler – I simply cannot put it down. Since the release date was September 1, a mere four days ago, I’d love to discuss this book further with those who plan to read it. That said, I introduce…
US and Canadian residents: Leave a comment on this post below mentioning what you might like about this book. Do so before 11:59 PM (ET) Sunday, September 11, 2011 and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win a copy of Emory’s Gift, signed by the author and shipped straight from the publisher. I’ll announce the winner Monday, September 12th, in the comments section of this post.
Best of luck to you all!
I look forward to your comments!
MORE ABOUT W. BRUCE CAMERON
W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose, which was bought by DreamWorks for a live-action film, with Cameron adapting the screenplay. Critics loved A Dog’s Purpose—with quotes from Temple Grandin, Alice Walker, and Dr. Marty Becker to name a few, and it was reviewed in a wide range of publications including BookPage, Guideposts, and Cesar’s Way magazine. Readers loved it, too! Just created in July 2010, the A Dog’s Purpose Facebook fan page has over 80,000 fans, with new fans every day. Bruce is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter which was turned into the hit ABC series that continues to run in syndication, 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter, and How to Remodel a Man. He has twice received the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award for Best Humor Columnist and was recently named Columnist of the Year by the NSNC. His nationally syndicated column is published in over 50 newspapers.