These new novels present a pure world at risk

Posted by Jeff on Oct 5th, 2020 @ 6:49 am in Book Reviews | 0 comments | Last change: October 4th, 2020

These new fiction releases are strangely compatible stories of gritty heroines on long-distance journeys into a natural world on the verge of destruction. Where these bleak stories diverge is the question of salvation.

Each book focuses on the relationship between humans and the earth, with different views on how crazy we are – in a healthy wilderness the last safe place to live is; in another we almost completely destroyed it; in the third it becomes clear that nature is in danger.

You will not find a totally happy ending in the group, but three different messages about how we make the destruction of the environment so bad, what sacrifices it takes to turn things around, and the consequences if we don't do enough.

Each story brings a naturalist's view of the Anthropocene. All in all, they offer a compelling, apocalyptic, and at times hopeful reflection on all that we can lose.

"The New Wilderness" by Diane Cook

In this novel, Cook's first, things look pretty bad in civilization – although we never see him, we only hear of his polluted and overpopulated condition from people who have been allowed to escape. The novel is told from the perspective of former home designer Bea and her young daughter Agnes, one of the few selected to lead an experimental nomadic life in one of the world's last natural places, the Wilderness State.

"Ruthie Fear" by Maxim Loskutoff

This novel sometimes plunges into the realm of magical realism: Ruthie has a vision of a flying, skeletal creature while hunting with her father, while Rutherford tells his daughter stories of moose the size of school buses. "They hunt them down with rocket launchers," he says. "If you miss it, they'll stick you on their antlers and throw you into space."

"Migrations" by Charlotte McConaghy

The heroine Franny Stone lives in a world that seems just like our own. Except in this novel, almost all animals – monkeys, apes, big cats, bears, and wolves – are extinct. Franny talks to the ship Saghani and sets off south with a colorful crew and a restless captain. Both parties are looking for their own rare animal.

Full reviews here …

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