Sunday 17 April 2011

When the Killing's Done

Finished April 15
When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle, ready by Anthony Heald
This was a great read. Admittedly parts of it got my anger up enough that I switched to the radio (not a good idea to drive while angry ;->).
The book is set in Santa Barbara and the nearby Channel Islands. One of the key characters is Alma Boyd Takesue, a National Parks Service biologist who is one of the key people working to restore the ecosystems of the Islands. Her chief opponent is Dave LaJoy, a local businessman who has formed a lobby group called FPA (For the Protection of Animals) and isn't above breaking laws to get his way.
We see the backgrounds of both characters, but also other people in their lives. For Alma, we see the ties to the channel islands not only for her, but also for her grandmother and mother. Her grandmother, Beverley's story of being washed to one of the islands in a shipwreck in 1946 and surviving there for several days begins the novel. We don't hear about her mother's ties until much later.
For Dave, we see how he came to animal rights, but also the apparent disconnect when it comes to animals creating issues in his own life. We also see the background of his girlfriend, folk singer Anise, and her tragic relationship to the island of Santa Cruz.
Things aren't always black and white, and emotions take a strong role here too for both Alma and Dave. Lots of questions are raised and the plot is thought-provoking.

1 comment:

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