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Notes from My Captivity

Review

Notes from My Captivity

Since the tragic death of her father, Adrienne has been focused on three things: becoming a successful reporter, making her journalism idol Sydney Delay proud and honoring the legacy of her late father. When her stepfather offers her the opportunity to journey to Siberia with him and search for the legendary family of hermits that he believes lives there, she immediately agrees to go. How could she turn down the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and perhaps debunk the existence of this family?

Soon, Adrienne finds that their journey is much tougher than she ever imagined. Between her stepfather and the three guides --- including a flirtatious young Russian man --- Adrienne is soon faced with a tragedy that she never thought she’d ever have to experience.

When she is captured by the very family that she was convinced did not exist, she is faced with a decision: run and hope for survival or woo the youngest son and convince him to help her leave.

"I truly enjoyed NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY, and I believe it would make an engrossing film."

Set in the Siberian wilderness and chocked full of suspense, mystery, and wit, NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY is a beautiful portrayal of love, grief and the ability to change your life and tell your own story.

When I first started reading this novel, I was not sure how I would feel about it. I found Adrienne, the narrator, to be a bit immature. As the novel progressed, though, I found the juxtaposition of her naivety to fit beautifully against the backdrop of the cold and dark Siberian wilderness. There were some parts, though, where the tone should have been far more serious than it was, especially with the subject matter.

Also, I found that overall the novel moved very quickly, which I usually do not mind, but in this case, it could have been 100 or so more pages. Some parts were far too rushed and deserved more explanation and consideration. The ending was especially rushed, and I would have loved a couple extra chapters.

There were some things I truly loved about NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY. The writing was fantastic, which is not a surprise considering Parks’ repertoire of novels. Each character had clear and distinct traits, and each had their place and purpose in the story; there were no useless characters. I loved Adrienne’s sense of humor (most of the time), and though I found the romance in the story to be a bit unbelievable, it was still entertaining and made the novel better as a whole.

Overall, I truly enjoyed NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY, and I believe it would make an engrossing film. Parts of it reminded me of King Kong, the 2005 film with Jack Black: a group of people on a journey to find something that only legends speak of. And I love that film, so much. If you like King Kong, then, you will love this excellent novel about people, their lives and the lines that cross and connect them, even from across the world.

Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member on August 1, 2018

Notes from My Captivity
by Kathy Parks