A Day in The Woods: Transporting the Reader into Setting

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

A Day In The Woods by Doyle C. Carver, told in the first person, is Bo’s story. Oldest to a brood of three young men, Bo makes it his business to contain the apparent mayhem Brody and Brady create wherever they go. He is calm and collected while the two are a boyhood team of maliciousness. At twelve years old, he takes his role seriously in preventing his brothers from getting into all kinds of trouble, and now that he is given a go-signal by his strict father to act as an adult, he feels more responsibilities are placed on his shoulders. He and his brothers are looking forward to squirrel hunting, and a day in the woods presents situations that will challenge his promotion from a child to a more mature role in his family. How Bo will manage to keep up with his father’s expectations in this coming of age story set in a small Texas area is the focus of Carver’s novel.

Carver’s narratives were able to take me to the woods as I read his book. I could smell the trees and imagine the wide expanse of greens, and I felt like I was with the group hunting for squirrels. The story was light and easy to read. It had taken me a while before I got to like Bo’s dad. Where before I saw him as an unfeeling father, I was able to understand his behavior when he finally explained some matters with his children, and I understood where he was coming from. Parenting is such a serious matter! Good family values were clearly imparted in this novel.

A Day in the Woods provides knowledge on how to handle guns or rifles especially when children are involved. It was a revelation when Carver discussed the art of squirrel hunting. Though I feel strongly about animals being hurt, I believe squirrel hunting is somehow part of some countries’ culture, and thus had to be taken with a grain of salt.

On the downside, Carver used some acronyms like BB and EPA which I had to google for understanding. While the author was quite good in making me visualize the group as they hunt for squirrels, I was however unable to imagine the 60’s setting. The feel of that era did not manifest in the story; the setting could be in any time frame. In addition, Bo was narrating his story as a twelve-year-old kid and yet, he would be telling about things he supposedly did when he was several years older, and another one he experienced when he was fourteen. I found these parts confusing since from the beginning of the book, Bo was telling his story real-time and not simply reminiscing his childhood.

I was able to spot just one grammatical error: wideeyed should be hyphenated. I give this novel 4 out of 4 stars. Some parts were drawn out too long and made such parts dragging, but despite this flaw, the author’s ability in making the scenes alive, and in imparting good family values deserved the highest rating. The grammatical error was insignificant to mar the positivity imparted in this book. A Day In The Woods will be appreciated by kids aged twelve years and below. Also, if readers like books that feature family values and relationships among siblings and parents, then this novel is spot on. However, if you prefer exciting or intriguing plots, look elsewhere.


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