Three books with animals in the title and with animals a feature of the stories. Something a bit different I know, but I’m trying to have a new theme each week – ha ha!
This is a new kind of Scandi-lit! It is the debut novel for Swedish author Cecilia Ekback. Set in 1717 the story is part historical, part mystical, part mystery and quite dark, offering a glimpse into life during this time peiod. It follows Maija and her family as they move from Finland to Swedish Lapland, a pretty harsh environment. One day Maija’s daughter discovers a mutilated dead body. When locals decide that he was killed by bears or wolves, Maija feels otherwise and sets out to find the murderer, uncovering all kinds of strange secrets about her new home. Library Journal says “the novel will appeal to readers who like their historical fiction dark and atmospheric, or mystery fans who are open to mysticism and unconventional sleuths” and they liken it to Eowyn Ivey’s The snow child.
The tusk that did the damage / by Tania James.
Amazon calls this book “a tour de force set in South India that plumbs the moral complexities of the ivory trade through the eyes of a poacher, a documentary filmmaker, and, in a feat of audacious imagination, an infamous elephant known as the Gravedigger.” And it is truly unique in subject matter and voice. It’s about an elephant who who is sold by poachers to a circus. He escapes and rampages through the countryside, killing peole and burying them (hence the name!). The other storylines focus on Manu, the young poacher, and Emma, who is making a documentary about a local vet. All three tie together in the tragic ending. A really different story about politics, conservation and morals.
Not forgetting the whale
This is about a young man, Joe Haak, who is attempting to escape the City of London and the imminent collapse of civilisation, predicted by a computer program he designed. Joe washes up on the shore of small village in Cornwell and is welcomed into the town by the locals. They begin to realise he is on the run and he tries to convince them to save the village from ‘the end’. (Meanwhile, a mysterious whale lurks in the harbour). Described as unputdownable, “intimate, funny and deeply moving…for fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Rosie Project” (Amazon).