Sunday, December 27, 2015

Descent by Tim Johnston

Descent
by Tim Johnston
2015
*****
5 stars - flat ending, but otherwise great
ALR Yellow - some sad dog scenes


The Courtlands, a family of four, decide to take a holiday to the Rocky Mountains before their oldest child, Caitlin, goes off to college. Caitlin goes out for a jog one morning, with her younger brother Sean, following along on a bicycle. Only Sean returns. And so it begins...

The story focuses on the lives of Caitlin's father and brother after the disappearance of Caitlin. Mom is only a minor character.

What I found both compelling and disheartening with the story was how it showed that events in one's life can be so pivotal and, yet, pedestrian. The search for Caitlin never ends, but as months, then years go by, life must, somehow, go on. Who can tell if any of the subsequent events were caused by the disappearance or would have happened anyway? Violence, loss, suffering, these things come to all of us. It's the human condition. Even the horrific loss of a child is, sadly, not extraordinary in the great scheme of things.

I was a bit disappointed by the ending, but since I couldn't think of a more satisfying conclusion, no stars deducted for that.

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