Bear by Marian Engel

4/5 stars.
ebook, 128 pages.
Read from August 27 to 29, 2013.

I could easily see how someone would struggle reading this novel due to the content but for me, I felt that I was really able to connect with what the story was trying to get across.

This story is about a woman discovering herself. Lou has come to stalemate with her life. It is lacking in substance and adventure. She has meanless sex with men and doesn’t allow herself to connect with anyone, especially herself. Lou does love what she is doing for work but has taken very little joy out of it recently so she agrees to take up an assignment in a cabin out in the middle of no where to document the history of the family that lived there. What she didn’t know was that during her stay there that she would be required to take care of a bear who has been living on the property for years.

The progression and building of her relationship with the bear is an exploration into herself and who she is. She learns to explore her own sexuality, get rid of the meaningless relationships and assert herself. She tests her own capabilities, reassess the things that are important to her and ultimately learns to take control of her own life. She finds so much clarity after leaving the cabin and the bear.

Overall the story is short, potent and phenomenally written. I would recommend this book to any female.