This was another really good one! I must say I didn't really expect to like it...I hate snakes and creatures that crawl and slither and the thought of hanging out in the Everglade absolutely does me in...well that was a great way for me to begin this story!
Sarah is the poor scholarship kid at an elite high school (her mom is one of the lunch ladies) and everyone knows that she doesn't fit in...everyone but her parents who have done all they can to get her into the school. So, when she decides she wants to go on an overnight science trip to the Everglades they happily let her go.
As soon as the snooty kids arrive at the camp Sarah notices Andy - working on some cars in the parking lot -and a little flirting gets her an invitation to a ride on his airboat the next day. She fakes a stomach ache and the two set off. Ater a stop at a hunting cabin they make an AWFUL discovery...After washing out the boat that morning Andy neglected to replace the plug in the bottom of the boat and it sank!!
So - they are stranded at a hunting camp with nothing but the clothes on their backs and 10+ miles of Everglade swamp between them and civilization. There are tears, yelling, accusations and then cold, hard reality. Sarah is scared - petrified - of everything. Andy is very knowledgable, but he is also a kid who has always had an adult (a semi-abusive) father in charge. Oh yeah, and they had rescued a baby duck when Sarah killed off the mother with the airboat. That is how they start.
When they are rescued three days later they are not the same. Sarah's fear has turned to rock hard determination and Andy's surety has been tempered by reality. But - most of all they are friends.
This is more than a story of survival. It's more than a story of friendship. It's more than a coming of age novel. It's a great combination of all three with a healthy dose of respect for a disappearing spot on our national landscape.
It is also based on a true story...that seems to add to it...from Ginny Rorby's website...
Lost in the River of Grass is based on the true story of my husband’s ill-fated trip to the Everglades with his then girlfriend in his airboat. While they were ‘visiting’ one of the hunting camps in the Everglades, the airboat sank. It took them three days to walk out. I wrote the original story of that ordeal for Fort Lauderdale’s Gulf Coast magazine, published in the late 1990s.
It's a great read for reluctant nature lovers!