Thursday, 30 May 2019

Land Mammals and Sea Creatures

Finished May 24
Land Mammals and Sea Creatures by Jen Neale

This odd novel is set in a small community on the west coast of Canada. Julie Bird has returned to the town she grew up in to find everything slightly askew. Her father Marty, a war vet with a prosthesis and PTSD, seems more depressed and bent on self-destruction. A young woman making a living as a Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator seems to have a hold on him that Julie doesn't understand. When she begins to figure out who this woman is, and her relationship to Marty's past, she feels anger, but also fear for her dad.
When the three go for a boat trip, it culminates in the beaching and death of a blue whale, an event that casts a miasma, both real and nebulous over the town. More odd animals deaths continue to occur, some seem like suicide, and the relationship to animals here has many layers.
This is a story of a past that has a strong influence on the present, of the relationship between humans and their environment, and about a young woman coming to terms with the reality of death.

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