Moving across the country can be rather stressful, but could you imagine if as a kid your mother goes missing while you’re driving across the country, leaving you to fend for yourselves? E.N. McNamara’s Off the Grid demonstrates just this quandary.
Jamie and her siblings Jenny, Jake, and Jana are moving from Ohio to Oregon on their mother’s quick decision after the death of their father in the war. Promise, Oregon is where their mother grew up and promises to be a new experience for the children. When stopped in Reno, Nevada for a brief while, Jamie’s mother goes missing from her car, leaving the kids to decide what to do next: involve the police or keep going and hope for the best. Choosing the latter, they drive the rest of the way to Promise and begin their new lives on their grandfather’s old farm while waiting for news of their mother.
The premise of this story works and demonstrates being suddenly thrust out of childhood. The text is in need of a thorough round of copyediting as there were many instances of open quotation for dialogue and a lack of necessary punctuation. Each child was rather well characterized and maintained their character throughout with realistic changes to keep them from being too horribly static.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.