Halfway to Schist
Halfway to Schist by Peter Bridgford is a beautiful story of self-discovery. The main character, Jane Rogers, or “Red,” is the daughter of two passionate geologists. Unfortunately, Red has been raised by her father for most of her life, as her mother committed suicide during Red’s childhood. Red’s father, a former military geologist in World War II, had already been deeply mentally wounded by his war experiences. Having dug deeper and deeper into himself to cope with PTSD, Red’s father was already disconnected from his family well before his wife’s death.
Needless to say, the devasting and sudden loss of his partner changes Red’s father’s life once again. He decides that both he and Red must move away to escape their ghosts, telling her that they will be relocating to his deceased uncle’s fishing lodge to restore the business. Red is beyond upset about this move; already having had so much taken away from her, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the only friends she has left in Buffalo. Despite her persistent refusals, soon enough she finds herself whisked away to Canada, staring at what appears to be a hopeless restoration project. Little does Red realize, there is not only hope in fixing the fishing lodge, she will also find life changing friends along the way.
The story follows Red and her account of her Canadian adventures. Being a teenager is hard enough already without being thrown into a completely new environment. As Red manages summer jobs, boys, friendships, and the futile lodge restoration project, the reader watches Red find herself and what really matters to her.
What truly sets this novel apart are the chilling entries Red recounts from her mother’s journal after her suicide. These stories were left for Red, meant to guide her through the stages of her life and to teach her invaluable lessons that her mother can no longer bestow in person. Geologically themed, these stories connect nature to humanity, showing how the processes of our natural environment are, in fact, similar to human behaviors. Red learns these stories and their messages by heart, using them to cope with her mother’s death and every other challenge she faces.
Red’s story is profound and impactful; she is the epitome of someone determined to make the best of their situation, despite the many, many challenges they face. I recommend this book to anyone who may have a story similar to Red’s and to other readers who enjoy more serious fiction.
|Page Count||264 pages|
|Publisher||Black Rose Writing|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|