Really briefly, the man and the boy are surviving in a forest fire burnt North America, most of everyone is dead or have become raiders. The man and the boy have little food to survive, no shelter, and only each other. So far, the two have seen really gruesome things and have survived by the grace of whatever luck they have. Spending long days starving and long nights freezing.
My favourite parts of the book are when they find food to eat. I love the feelings and emotions that have been written in the book, and how it can you take you through all of the emotions that the characters go through.
At times, I am able to understand the boy’s feelings, “[The man] sorted through the limp pages and spread out those that answered to their location. ‘We cross a bridge here. It looks to be about eight miles or so,’” (43). This passage reminds me of the OALE canoe trip, we had a map that we used to navigate and determine how long it would take to get home. So in the book when the boy is constantly checking how far they are from the coast, I can completely relate since that how I felt the whole trip. I feel that this is how I relate to the boy, we share feelings of eagerness and anticipation.
Throughout the first part of the novel, I didn’t do much annotating or readers notes, but I was always able to notice the authors use of flashbacks. The man sometimes has flashbacks to his previous life “There was a lake a mile from his uncle’s farm where he and his uncle used to go in the fall for firewood.”(11). Another example of a flashback he’s had, “Memory of her crossing the lawn toward the house in the early morning in a thin rose gown that clung to her breasts. He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins.” (139). These two memories of the man’s past life, lead me to believe that he is still clinging on to what he remembers of the old world. But at the same time, he seems afraid to remember these things, in fear that they might be tampered by the practices and customs of the newly ravaged world.
So, what I take from this book so far is the humanity of the characters. How the way they live changes the way they think, and what they consider good and bad, and how that separates them from the other survivors. All of this makes them seem very human, and realistic.