After finishing "Fauna" by Alissa York, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. In fact, it took me a few days following the end to process what I had just read. There is no doubt that the writing is beautiful, York's narration is stunning, not to mention she wrote the entire book in the present tense which is an art unto itself I believe. What struck me about this novel is its realism - this book follows 6 people (and a few fauna) over the course of roughly 7 days, interspersed with flashbacks that slowly reveal what each character is going through emotionally. I kept waiting for something huge to happen - a big event, adventure, something... and I believe that this is why after reading it I wasn't sure I liked it. Now, looking back, I realized that this book is beautiful in its representation of real life - and real wild life. York gives you an intimate look into the lives of people that you probably meet every day - the Edal's struggling with emotional stress, the Lily's finding independence and voice, the Kate's who are suffering a deep loss... and the wildlife she uses to narrate some passages - they are all individuals whose personal stories permeate the world around us, these characters could walk off the page, so deep is their development. York artfully expresses each character's personality and interactions with each other - they are all connected somehow, through love, loss, life, and wildlife. Overall, this book is a piece of art - it's like nothing I have ever read before and I would recommend spending some time pondering the realities York presents after you close the back cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wildlife Lovers (and a Hater)April 8 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
This book is a simple pleasure for anyone interested in the wildlife featured in the book. This is not a book with talking animals although the human characters in the book spent lots of time reading books such as Watership Down and The Jungle Book, and one of the characters is named after an otter.
This is a book about the real wildlife of a city and people for whom they are important. Some of the people try to help by rescuing injured birds, rehabbing a red-tailed hawk and orphan raccoons (I've done the latter myself so I especially enjoyed the pages mentioning their noise and bottle-feeding them). One of the characters cares about a mouse living in her apartment, and ironically just after I started this review, I had to stop writing to look for one which ran across my dorm room.
On the other side is a character who wants to eliminate coyotes, and things can get a bit gruesome in his portion of the story.
The human aspect of the story involves the small group of animal lovers gradually getting to know each other and bonding as a small alternative family/community. This is not timeless literature, but a fine story of compassion.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
faunaJan. 19 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
an excellent, fast read. a great book, especially for those of us who know toronto. provides good topics for bookclub discussion. well done miss york. i will now read your previous book Â«effigyÂ».