Trout is born profoundly deaf. His world is concentrated on the physical, the natural things he can see and touch. His whole extended family supports him and helps him discover the wonders of sea shells, the power of sound vibrations, the glory of the mountains and the back country, and the value of the spiritual through generations. The story is told in an alternating narrative from him to his mother and back. Clare is only seventeen when she has Trout. Her husband is in jail and her mother takes her in. When Trout is fourteen he is sent to live with his Uncle Jack, a forest ranger near Rocky Mountain House, and it is here in the bear's house he tests himself and grows to be a man. The author is a poet and this is very evident in his descriptions, melodious sentences, and turns of phrase. He weaves together the tales of these two people, reflecting both the hopes and dreams of Clare and the maturity awakening in Trout. An interesting and hopeful story.
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