I'm not at all sure what drew me to this book - it's not my usual read, by any means.
But Hannah Nyala's `Point Last Seen' has a stark honesty that captured me from the first paragraph and kept me interested all the way to her frank - and real world - closing page. Though I was conflicted that the word "conclusion" did not apply, because the build up to an airbrushed Hollywood final chapter would have undermined the gritty realism that permeates her life and that of her children, yet such an ending would have represented a wonderful reward for a life lived so hard.
Nyala's writing style is sparse and poignant, allowing the harsh physicality of the Mojave Desert to mirror the emotional terrain she offers up so matter of factly. Battered, brutalised and initially broken, her story is heroic on a number of levels. Hers is the challenge of personal courage slowly nurtured from the sad failings of expectations repeatedly dashed. It resonates with the subtle complexity of a straightforward story told simply and clearly, and even if the ending isn't Hollywood, you'll probably wish that for her sake it should have been.
Point Last Seen Paperback – 25 June 1998
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- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140274634
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140274639
- Dimensions : 13.34 x 1.27 x 19.69 cm
- Publisher : Penguin; Reprint edition (25 June 1998)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
4.7 out of 5
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Sparse, sobering and evocatively beautifulReviewed in the United States on 7 June 2009
Ananda M Patterson
Deeply honest, real, and movingReviewed in the United States on 17 June 2013
This is a powerful testimony to the author's inner strength and her incredible journey through abuse, horror, and survival. Although the story is wrenching, the reader is carried and at times sheltered by the author's own intellectual and emotional process of building up a context in which she can understand and transcend, all the while working to save her children and maybe even herself. I stayed up all night to finish this book in one setting.
Larry E Dunn
Five StarsReviewed in the United States on 2 December 2016