Bigfoot Mountain

Authored by Roderick O'Grady
Published by Firefly Press

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Bigfoot Mountain is a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying read. Quite a slow starter, but well worth pursuing. The first part of the story introduces us to Minnie. A young girl living with her stepfather Dan in an extremely remote location. They live amongst a small group of holiday cabins. Her friend Billy and his mother Connie the only other people living here. The cabins are unoccupied due to a large fire sweeping across the horizon that has put paid to the holiday season.

Minnie’s story gently unfurls. We learn that Minnie’s mother has died. There appears to be tension between Minnie and Dan. He has not been around for most of her life and now her mother, their link, has passed, Minnie finds her relationship with Dan quite tricky.

The story is set amidst an amazing landscape. A huge forest, cliffs, the bay and a bunch of remote cabins. They are living amongst nature. The descriptions of the area are detailed and many and there is a map to outline where everything sits. On the very first page, we are treated to a vivid description that gives us a wonderful introduction to Minnie and her love and respect for nature.

‘She loved the scent from the pine needles and the thin dribbles of sap that wept from the tree and made her hands sticky as she climbed, and she loved meeting the ants and centipedes and spiders and all the other bugs that lived in its lumpy, scaly bark’

On a trek, Minnie with her friend Billy, discover some very large footprints on the way into the forest. This is where the real adventure starts. An excited and a bit scared Minnie and Billy, a very sceptical Dan, and Connie who is steeped in the myths and folklore of the area have differing opinions about what they have seen.

Local legends tell of a ‘bigfoot’ animal of long ago that inhabited parts of the forest. Minnie is convinced that the footprints they have seen belong to these creatures.

There are lots of twists and turns in this story and Minnie’s adventure becomes more and more entwined in the ‘Bigfoot’ legend. The tale splits in two and is completed with two voices. However, to say more would really spoil the story.

Roderick has dealt with some really emotive and important issues in this book. Loss in all its forms, both emotional and environment is explored with empathy. Through nature, friendship and ultimately kindness Minnie and her Stepfather Dan learn to forge their relationship for the future.

There is so much in this short book and Bigfoot Mountain it is a delightful read.