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About the book
  • Published: 13 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448155736
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

The Bear

Mummy never yells. Mostly not ever. Except sometimes.

Longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange)

Anna is five. Her little brother, Stick, is almost three. They are camping with their parents in Algonquin Park, in three thousand square miles of wilderness. It's the perfect family trip. But then Anna awakes in the night to the sound of something moving in the shadows. Her father is terrified. Her mother is screaming. Then, silence.

Alone in the woods, it is Anna who has to look after Stick, battling hunger and the elements to stay alive. Narrated by Anna, this is white-knuckle storytelling that captures the fear, wonder and bewilderment of our worst nightmares – and the power of one girl’s enduring love for her family.

  • Pub date: 13 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448155736
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron is a novelist and writer, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, and The Rumpus. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Praise for The Bear

“Bold...shocking...distinctive...the reward is striking images that stick in the mind, a blend of Anna's interpretations of events and the reader's imagination. It was even more haunting the second time around”


“Stylistically impressive and deeply moving”


“A taut and touching story of how a child’s love and denial become survival skills”

Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat

“This expertly crafted novel could do for camping what Jaws did for swimming.This agonizing odyssey of loss and being lost also has humor…The book’s anguished yet hopeful ending provides a touching terminus for Anna and Stick’s journey to adulthood”


“The Bear had me up all night... Claire Cameron is an absolute master”

Herman Koch, Author of The Dinner

“Read this book in one sitting...taut and engrossing look at an essential web of connected questions: How children think, how families work, how we relate to nature at its most brutal and how we process grief and trauma... Unforgettable.”

Globe and Mail

“An emotional tour de force. Claire Cameron’s The Bear offers us an unforgettable child-narrator who propels us through a story as unsettling as it is bone-chilling, and as suspenseful as it is moving”

Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The End of Everything

“It's been a long time since I read a book like The Bear by Claire Cameron. By chapter three, my heart was in my mouth; by chapter eight I was weeping and drinking hot, sweet tea as I went through a box of tissues. Read this book in one, you won't want to put it down.”


“This terrifying novel is your worst nightmare – in a good way!”

The Sun

“A gripping, affecting story that reads like a hybrid of Henry James's What Maisie Knew and Margaret Atwood's Survival”


“Emotionally raw and deftly astute…. moving and uplifting. You’ll probably find yourself reading this amazing survival story well into the night.”

Pure Wow Books

“So gripping that it is hard to put the novel down.”

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

“Any contemporary writer depicting extreme events through the eyes of a child must contend with the formidable precedent of Emma Donoghue’s Room, and Cameron bears the comparison.…She crafts a more straightforward adventure with a narration that nicely captures an ordinary child’s way of thinking”


“A fast, compelling read for nature lovers”

Library Journal

“Claire Cameron has written a chilling, beautiful, voice-driven novel, one that will turn your blood cold, make you laugh, and remind you of all the ways you are human. Most importantly she honors the complexity of our relationship with nature, the ways we are humbled by it and tethered to it. A vivid, potent, and unforgettable novel”

Mary Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise

“Claire Cameron plunges us in to the dark terrors of the wilderness. The Bear is a survival story that is heart-pounding and moving. I devoured this book”

Tanis Rideout, author of Above All Things

“A harrowing and endlessly hopeful novel… [Cameron’s] assured evocation of soon-to-be-six-year-old Anna hits all the right notes. We witness the unfolding of events through Anna’s eyes while simultaneously watching over her small shoulder, hearts in our mouths”

Alissa York, author of Fauna

“The Bear faultlessly captures the wonder, bewilderment, fear and self-centeredness of five-year-old Anna, and beautifully balances the darkness of her tale with a hopeful, sensitively told back story and moments when she grasps her situation with just enough clarity to shoulder her burden”

Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls

“Harrowing suspense. The Bear is a survival thriller that is told from a child's-eye point-of-view, which is not only convincing but doubles the tension. A heartbreaking, white-knuckle read”

Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist

“Thrilling and harrowing…. I couldn’t put this book down. And I must say that the ending was so right, I caught myself holding my breath. A remarkable novel”

Anthony de Sa, author of Kicking the Sky

“A gripping, affecting story that reads like a hybrid of Henry James's What Maisie Knew and Margaret Atwood's Survival”

Maclean's Magazine

“Just when you thought it was safe to go into the forest... This expertly crafted novel could do for camping what Jaws did for swimming”


“A gripping tale of how to deal with grief and being lost in a hostile environment”

Roddy Brooks, UK Press Syndication

“Subtle, endearing and raw”

Clare Brierley, Nudge

“Based on real-life events, this book is unforgettable”

Helena Gumley-Mason, Lady

“A tender, terrifying, poignant ride”

O magazine

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