PLOT: 3.5/5

After many days I had the opportunity to read a children’s novel. I was looking through my unread shelf and I came across Wilderness by the author Roddy Doyle.

Doyle who is best known for bagging the Booker prize in 1993 for his novel “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” is an Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter, many of whose books have also been made into films.

Adding to the appeal of the book was the strong recommendation from none other than J.K. Rowling herself and so I thought “why not?” and hastily lifted the book off its shelf.

Wilderness is a story of a sweet but recently troubled family.

The family consists of mother Sandra, Dad Frank, a teenage girl Grainne and two little boys John and Tommy. Sandra is Grainne’s stepmom who had raised her as her own after she was abandoned by her own mother Rosemary.

But recently Grainne has been acting strangely and quite rebellious. Her attitude towards Sandra is also changing.

To give things a break, Frank suggests Sandra takes a vacation with the boys and then there is also the fact the Rosemary, after years of staying away finally wants to come down and meet her daughter.

There is no way Sandra wants to meet her. So she decidedly books a trip for the three of them – she and the boys and they fly off to Finland.

But fate had something else in store for them. The boys while playing and enjoying every bit of their trip discover that their mother has gone missing.

It is heavily snowing and night time when the boys find that out and they have only two courses left – to go look out for her or let her die in the snow.

So what will they do? Will they be able to brave the cold and the dark? Will they be able to find their mother before it’s too late to save her? Meanwhile, what will happen back home? Will Grainne come to terms with her mother or will she lash out all her pent-up anger and frustration?

To know this and much more read this cute little story of just over two hundred pages.

Wilderness is every bit interesting and thrilling.

The family drama plus the adventure combo makes it a worthy read. My best takeaway from the book was a heightened awareness of Finland, its climate, its food and it’s cold.

The book has an interesting plot and the story keeps the readers hooked right till the end.

The characters of Johny, Tom, Sandra, Frank, Aki and even Kalle are all likeable. The Huskies are also interesting creatures to read about.

I loved Wilderness overall and would recommend it as a must-read for all children but even adults like me are bound to enjoy it for sure.