Book Review: On the Far Side of the Mountain

On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
On the Far Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #2) 
by Jean Craighead George

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Sam and his sister Alice are living alone on the mountain, away from the turmoil of civilization. They hike and fish and forage for forest berries and roots, and of course Sam has his falcon, Frightful, to do the hunting. But their peaceful life is thrown into chaos when Frightful is confiscated by government conservation authorities, and Alice disappears into the forest with her pet pig. Sam, heartbroken over the loss of his bird, must lay aside his grief in order to track down his little sister through the treacherous Catskill Mountains.

I loved reading about how Sam and Alice build a plumping mill to make acorn flour, and how they built a dam by watching the beavers. All the little details of their forest life are so interesting and well-described!
The writing style is concise and careful, using very few words to describe a whole scene and using expressive words to bring an emotional connection. I really love the simple but poignant style.

There was a little bit of a structure problem in the beginning of the book with an exorbitant amount of flashbacks. Sam is so worried about Frightful that he reads through his old journal entries to calm himself down, and so we get all these flashbacks through his journal. It broke up the pace of the story, and did not flow well. But by the middle of the book, we are done with flashbacks, Sam is in the middle of the action, and the plot moves forward without all the explanations that slow it down at first.

I was captivated with the plot and how the ending resolved itself. It really kept me guessing all through the book…. Where is Alice? Why did she really run off? What happened to Frightful? Who really took Frightful away? So many great questions that push the story forward, and come to a satisfying conclusion.

I can’t wait to finish this trilogy! Anyone who loves nature would fall in love with these books. I’m not a woodsy person at all, but I enjoy them immensely!

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