The Bear is a literary science fiction/fantasy tale about the last two people on earth. It’s short, and can be read in just a day if you have the time. The two main characters are known only as Father and Girl. When the story begins the girl is very young, and we watch as her father teaches her to survive the world.
The depictions of nature and scenery are beautifully done. It’s hard to imagine a world in which everything is covered by forests and fields, the remnants of residential areas grown over and covered by soil, a place where animals have no fear of man kind. There is a sense of wonder to it all.
The Bear feels like a fable rather than a book. Something handed down over generations and told by a campfire. The author never dives into the past- what happened to mankind, how these two people came to be the last on earth. It’s strictly about the story of these last two survivors.
The pacing is slow despite the high level of tension and conflict found at the heart of the book, and the reader grows to care about the characters slowly throughout. This is why the book ultimately ended up being only a three star read for me. The story felt very heavy and lonely, and I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to read a story like this one. Everything else about the book- the setting, the writing, the feelings it evoked, are easily a four star read, but when I put the book down I was left feeling a little sad. It’s unlikely that I’d ever pick this up to read again.
I’d recommend this to readers who like man versus nature stories or nature lovers in general. The Bear released on February 11, 2020 and can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon. Thank you to the publisher for sending an ARC for review.