One summer night in Wisconsin, the lives of two ten-year-old boys are changed forever…
Tired of seeing his best friend Dale Breadwin abused by his alcoholic father, Fischer Branson takes action. A gunshot rings out, and Bread and Fish flee into the woods. They build a raft, but the river quickly leads them into even greater danger.
In their wake travel a group of adults – each determined to save the boys from the terrors of Ironsford Gorge.
The further they go, the more the wilderness starts to change them in profound and unexpected ways. And when they reach the edge of the Gorge itself, they begin to understand the true violence and beauty of the natural world, and its ability to heal.
No matter where you run danger will always follow…
This was a beautifully moving, sad book about love, friendship and the unbreakable bonds between people.
Fish and Bread are each other’s best friend and closer than brothers, when Fish rescues his friend from his abusive father, the boys go on the run, thinking only of the nightmare of punishment, not the fact that they are in fact, loved.
The people who love them follow, Fish’s grandfather Teddy, the sheriff Cal, Fish’s mum and Tiff. These adults fight through rapids and hostile forest to find the two boys and save them from further harm. Along the way the disparate pairings bond and develop deeper understandings of themselves.
I’ll be honest, I was pretty close to tears towards the end, the writing is so moving and fraught with emotion. Fish and Bread are so innocent and brave and deep down kind, gentle boys that the world will try to break. The adults are also decent, loving, good people who want only to protect the boys so much they’re willing to risk everything for them.
Elements of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, other young boys out in the wilderness, abound. An elegy for the innocence of boyhood. Tender and bittersweet.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.