On a cold October morning in the predawn hours, Nathan McCann set out with his dog Sadie to do a little duck-hunting. He caught no fowl that day, but he did find – with Sadie’s prompting – a newborn baby in the woods. At first it appeared dead, but when the baby moved, Nathan rushed him to the hospital, saving his life.
From that point on, Nathan’s life was never the same. He felt a great bond with the child, but his request to adopt was denied when the grandmother said she would take him. She named the baby Nathan – Nat for short – out of respect for the man who saved his life, but did not allow the two to meet for fifteen years. When Nat started getting into adolescent trouble, she dumped him at Nathan’s door, saying he could keep the boy.
What I most loved about this story was the unconditional love Nathan had for Nat Even though they didn’t share the first 15 years, Nathan always sent packages for his birthday and Christmas. When he was abruptly given custody of Nat, he had no experience at being a parent, but dove in fearlessly. At times Nat made some bad choices, but he could always count on Nathan – who he considered his grandfather – to be there for him.
The character of the grandmother was puzzling to me. Being a grandparent myself, I could not imagine rejecting a child, or considering them a mere obligation. She was totally the opposite of Nathan. But the book reminded me that in the midst of the turmoil in life, all it takes to change your outlook in life is one person. Just one person who loves unconditionally.