by Jean Hegland
Two teenage sisters, Eva and Nell live in a house thirty miles from town, on the edge of a forest in Northern California. Although their parents value their solitude and peace there, the girls have other dreams: Nell wants to study at a university and Eva aspires to be a ballet dancer. Then an unknown disaster strikes. Power supplies fail, fuel becomes scarce, the economy collapses. Before they realize what's happening, Eva and Nell find themselves orphaned and alone in their house, isolated in the forest. What ensues is an unfolding struggle for survival. Initially the girls hold out hopes of eventually being able to make it into town for some necessary items. By the time they realize that is improbable, almost all their supplies are gone. They have no choice but to turn to the forest for their entire sustenance and support. Most of all, they have to grow up and learn to work together. When a passing stranger rapes one of the girls, a baby arrives and challenges the loyalties between them...
Into the Forest is a wonderfully compelling story. It really makes you think: what would I do if I was in that situation? Forced to survive and figure out how to provide everything for myself? Living with only one other person to talk to and depend upon. Would you go crazy, starve, or become best friends with a sister who had the potential of being your greatest rival?
Rating: 4/5 ........ 241 pages, 1996
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