February 23, 2020

Set in the woods of Northern Ontario in the middle of a snowstorm, this mystery, wilderness survival story, will hold your interest until you turn the final page!

Nate’s best friend’s body was never recovered after a tragic boat accident on Ghost Lake months before. Nate’s grief and guilt over the loss of his friend, propels him on a solo pilgrimage to the remote cabin where they spent so many summers together. Surrounded by memories and a few unwelcome and dangerous strangers (escaped prisoners), Nate faces some uncomfortable truths while trying to stay alive.

This book sounded scary to me but it was recommended and I was interested to read acclaimed Canadian author Tim Wynne-Jones’ work. I was also really excited to read a book about a teenage boy and his male friendships. Growing up with a father who taught me about all things wilderness survival, I loved being alongside Nate as he figured out how to face each challenge.

In this book, the relationship between the father and his teenage son is strong, steady and supportive. It’s also realistic. Nate fails to tell his parents that his friend won’t be joining him on the planned trip. He is too determined to search for evidence of what happened to his friend’s body. Nate never once doubts his parent’s support of him, even though he knows he’s lied to them. From this strong base of support we see the development of Nate’s reasoning, independence and ability to survive using his wits, guts and wisdom.

This book is suitable for an older child or teen who loves a suspenseful story and needs something to keep their attention. While the book is dramatic and suspenseful, we also gain insight into how death and grief can take hold of a person and how feelings of loss or guilt need space to be worked through.

This is a true coming of age story for an adventure loving reader who wants to learn about survival, friendship, and acceptance.

Helps with: coming of age, self discovery, consequences of choices, dealing with loss and grief, male friendship, dealing with difficult truths, acceptance of people’s character flaws, father/son relationships.