Hugely accomplished work, by an author I’m
coming to know as eloquent, intellectual and highly knowledgeable. Caught Between Worlds is an insightful
and informative coming-of-age drama, which is bittersweet, understated and
melancholy, to the point of feeling a touch bleak at times. Yet even though there is a feeling of mental
(and perhaps even tangibly physical) coldness when reading it, ultimately there
is also warmth – the kind which only comes from thoughts of “home”.
A real cultural eye-opener, as the youthful cast
weigh their future options (or lack thereof) in a small Alaskan town so remote
that supplies are brought in by plane, and a storm shuts down the whole
place. Whilst interested in a world they
call “Outside”, they are understandably afraid of the size of it, and of
strangers, but perhaps even more so of becoming fishermen and packers like
their own parents and neighbours. Yet
still there is the pride and heritage of their own Aleut native people to
discover and embrace.
Beautifully written by Lance, who spent many
years teaching in Alaska, and will be familiar with kids just like these. This is not high drama, but slow-paced, downplayed
melodrama, which offers genuine insight into the quiet and simple lives of
these incredibly isolated people, in a culture relatively shared in such fiction,
particularly the coming-of-age genre. A wonderful
read, to spend relaxing time without too much concern of where it is or isn’t leading. The calming, easy-going flow of Caught Between
Worlds is recommended for the more contemplative reader.
In : Book Reviews