C. J. Box’s COLD WIND is set in a part of Wyoming that is beautifully scenic and, in some ways, untamed. When an enemy threatens one of Box’s characters, the prospective victim does not automatically dial 911. He is more likely to take matters into his own hands. The hero, Joe Pickett, is a game warden and devoted family man who values harmony over conflict. Much to Joe’s displeasure, he is caught up in a web of deceit and violence when his wife’s latest stepfather, “multi-millionaire developer and media mogul, Earl Alden,” is shot dead and found hanging from one of his own windmill turbines. Joe’s mother-in-law, Missy Alden is charged with the crime, and although he has no jurisdiction, Joe undertakes his own unofficial investigation out of obligation to his wife and daughters.
Never one to shy away from sacred cow territory or the ruthless ways in which humans stampede it, T.C. Boyle’s latest wise epic puts ecologists on a restless collision course with agitated animal rights activists. In his vintage style of tackling issues with snarling drama and incendiary humor, Boyle plots a political novel without sending the reader a preachy message, although he comes right up under it.
Visit the website for the National Park Service and you will find that the Elwha River Restoration project is a key one for the Olympic National Park in Washington state. â€śElwha River Restoration will restore the river to its natural free-flowing state, allowing all five species of Pacific salmon and other anadromous fish to once again reach habitat and spawning grounds,â€ť the project literature explains.
It is with this kernel of truth that writer Jonathan Evison spins a grand tale in his new novel, West of Here. The novel essentially looks at environmental decisions made during the late 1800s, when the American frontier moved rapidly west, and land grabs were in full swingâ€”and the consequences of those same decisions more than a hundred years on.
February 16, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· 2 Comments
Tags: Algonquin Books, Environmental, Nature, Real Event Fiction, Time Period Fiction, Washington Â· Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, US Northwest, Wild West
Consider memory. At any time, a person’s mind potentially holds the sum total of all her experience, though she may not be able to access all of it. She may have forgotten details, until reminded by revisiting a place or picking up a keepsake. There may be memories too hurtful to recall, until the recounting of simpler things clears a pathway to them. There may be things that she cannot understand until the light of maturity suddenly reveals their meaning. Unlike a tale told chronologically, a novel based on memory contains its entire story in outline from the first pages on — although it remains unclear in detail, emotion, and significance until we have lived long enough in the narrator’s mind to explore her past from within. And Jane Urquhart, in the gradual unspooling of memory that is the essence of her latest novel, allows us to inhabit the mind of Liz Crane, her protagonist and narrator, as though it were our own. This is a novel about memory, nostalgic, partial, sometimes painful, but always intriguing.
October 4, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Cousins, Environmental, Jane Urquhart, Loss, Memory, Nature Â· Posted in: Canada, Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, Theme driven, y Award Winning Author
Although Justin Caves is a grown man now, one incident from his childhood in Oregon regularly returns to haunt him: he once comes face-to-face with a wounded bear in the woods outside his house. Worse, his father encourages him not to be a â€śpantywaistâ€ť but to aim his rifle carefully and shoot it. The all-consuming terror and helplessness he felt then, has never gone away.
Setting his novels in contemporary South Africa, Deon Meyer raises the bar for thrillers by infusing each of his novels with the national political tensionsâ€”historical, racial, and economicâ€”and the urban and rural disparities which make the country so complex and so difficult to govern. His â€śheroesâ€ť have traditionally been far from â€śheroicâ€ť in the traditional sense, always people at odds with society, especially in the case of Lemmer, main character (and hired bodyguard) in BLOOD SAFARI, a man who has allowed his passions to dominate him to the extent that he served time for his assault on four men and gained pleasure in killing the ringleaderâ€”â€śI felt at one with the world, whole and complete, good and right. Itâ€™s a terrible thing. It intoxicates. Itâ€™s addictive. And so terribly sweet.â€ť
October 3, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· 2 Comments
Tags: Animals, Deon Meyer, Environmental, Political Â· Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Character Driven, Class - Race - Gender, South Africa, Thriller/Spy/Caper, World Lit