Unseen Companion by Denise Gosliner Orenstein

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Synopsis

Bethel, Alaska -- a small community in a stark landscape where a powerful and richly textured story spins together, one voice at a time. It is the late 1960s as beaten teenaged Dove Alexie sits in prison. One day, Dove suddenly vanishes, and there is nothing in the prison records to mark his arrival or departure. Out of the tundra, four young people step forward with their stories:

Lorraine Hobbs, a precocious loner who brings meals to the prison;

Annette Weinland, the local minister's daughter, who volunteers at the prison;

Thelma Cooke and Edgar Kwagley, two Yup'ik adolescents orphaned and displaced from their native communities.

At the core of each narration is Dove -- and the mystery of his disappearance. Like planets in the solar system, these four young people travel in separate orbits with an unseen companion, Dove. Denise Gosliner Orenstein's masterpiece of intertwining voices captures the complexities of human existence with humor and insight.

 

About Denise Gosliner Orenstein

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Denise Gosliner Orenstein is the author of three novels and currently holds the position of Director, American University MFA Program in Creative Writing in Washington, D.C. She is also a writing mentor for the PEN American Center Prison Writing Project and a participant in the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools Program. She lives with her two daughters in Washington, D.C.
 
Published September 1, 2003 by HarperTempest. 368 pages
Genres: Young Adult. Fiction

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This gritty, tightly written Alaskan realism, set in 1969, tackles harsh conditions and whether a sense of self is possible despite them.

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Publishers Weekly

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"The author delves into the harsh realities of life—both natural and manmade—in a small Alaskan town during the summer of 1969, as four lonely teens deal with loneliness and isolation," wrote PW .

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Publishers Weekly

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Orenstein (When the Wind Blows Hard ) delves into the harsh realities of life—both natural and manmade—in a small Alaskan town during the summer of

Nov 24 2003 | Read Full Review of Unseen Companion

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