Claire Cameron's first novel, The Line Painter, was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best crime first novel and won the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service. Cameron's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, and The Millions. She worked as a wilderness instructor in Ontario's Algonquin Park and for Outward Bound. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.
A young girl who must fend for herself and her little brother after a brutal bear attack in this "emotional tour de force" (Megan Abbott)
While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of screaming. A rogue black bear has entered the family's campsite and is attacking her parents.
At her dying mother's urging, Anna manages to get her brother into the family's canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe runs aground on the edge of the woods, the sister and brother must battle hunger, the elements, and a wilderness alive with danger. Lost and completely alone, they find that their only hope resides in Anna's struggle to be brave when nothing in her world seems safe anymore.
Told in the innocent voice of a child, THE BEAR is a transporting tale about love, loss, and the raw instincts that enable us to survive.
"[An] adventure with a narration that nicely captures an ordinary child's way of thinking-and of blocking out unwelcome knowledge. [A] slam-bang opening...Scary...Darkly funny...A touching epilogue...Harrowing but ultimately hopeful."--Kirkus Reviews
"The Bear faultlessly captures the wonder, bewilderment, fear and self-centeredness of five-year-old Anna, and beautifully balances the darkness of her tale with a hopeful, sensitively told back story and moments when she grasps her situation with just enough clarity to shoulder her burden."--Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls
"The Bear is a harrowing and endlessly hopeful novel-an unforgettable hymn to the legacy of familial love. Claire Cameron is alive to mind of the child. Her assured evocation of soon-to-be-six-year-old Anna hits all the right notes: the connective web of association and analogy; the permeable skin between truth and story; the immersive experience of time. This is subtle magic-the transportive spell of a pitch-perfect narrative voice. We witness the unfolding of events through Anna's eyes while simultaneously watching over her small shoulder, hearts in our mouths. The Bear is no fable, gentle reader. A source of terror and lonely solace, Cameron's fur-clad villain threatens from without and from within. Like our unwilling heroine, we must be very, very brave."--Alissa York, author of Fauna
"The Bear is a taut and touching story of how a child's love and denial become survival skills. Claire Cameron takes a fairytale situation of children pitted against the wilderness, removes the fairies, and adds a terrifying and ravenous bear. I devoured this wonderful new novel in one day."--Charlotte Rogan, author of the national bestseller The Lifeboat
"A page turner...The Bear creates suspense out of the gap between what Anna knows and what the reader suspects...The story is laced with humor and moments of joy and triumph as well as fear and sorrow...Anna is such a compelling character...So gripping that it is hard to put the novel down."--Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
"A vividly portrayed wilderness ordeal (poison ivy, hunger, rain, isolation) juxtaposed with glimpses of the inner resources young Anna draws upon (imagination, family, memory, hope), all seen through the eyes of a chPRAISE FOR THE BEAR:
"[A] gripping survival thriller...Cameron unspools the adventure in Anna's twitchy voice, heightening the tension...This agonizing odyssey of loss and being lost also has humor...The book's anguished yet hopeful ending provides a touching terminus...This expertly crafted novel could do for camping what Jaws did for swimming."--Richard Eisenberg, People