Young Elka was only 7 years old when she was parted from her Nana due to a violent storm and became completely lost in the woods. She was found by a man she only knew as Trapper and she came to think of him as Daddy. Trapper/Daddy would go out hunting and bring back meat that he taught Elka to skin. He taught her everything she needed to know to survive in the wild. Then when she’s 17 years old, she learns that he’s a killer and now he’s after her.
This book takes place in the future after the world is forever changed by the Conflict. It’s a harsh world with poisoned lakes and people whose sole purpose is to survive. But the apocalypse takes second place to the nail-biting story of the wild, almost feral Elka and her journey to find her parents. This isn’t a typical cat and mouse story and becomes quite a deep psychological study of a young girl who was a victim of an evil man for ten years. She has horrible secrets locked in her mind that she’s been unable to face. This is not a book for the faint-hearted. There are horrendous scenes in this book and at times I thought it was going to be too much for me to continue to read. But the author managed to keep me glued to the pages and I had to keep reading.
On the negative side, there were parts of the book that I felt were too repetitive. How often is this girl going to keep running into evil men? But it picked up in the last quarter of the book and broke open my heart. I grew to love Elka and suffered when she suffered and rejoiced when she rejoiced. It’s a truly heart wrenching story with an ending that left me in tears.
I won this book in a LibraryThing giveaway with the understanding that I would give an honest review.