Sure, we’ve all heard of the Dodo and the Woolly Mammoth, but what about the Glyptodon or the Tratratratra? This enthralling book takes us on a journey around the world to introduce us to some of the varied and extraordinary species that have now sadly become extinct. The book is divided into regions, with a map to show where the animals once lived. In addition to fascinating facts about each species and when they disappeared, the book includes the legends and folk tales that have built up around the vanished creatures, and lots of illustrations. As well as looking back at the distant past, the book reminds us that the Chinese River Dolphin became extinct as recently as 2007, and there are many other species that are gravely endangered – Lonesome George is the last remaining member of a subspecies of Galapagos tortoises that once inhabited Pinta Island. A gorgeous and informative book. Hardback, $28
Daily Archives: June 12, 2012
The Tides are a family with some secrets which during the course of the book are revealed. It’s a slow reveal, and there are some surprises in store. At different times I was a bit concerned that the book was going to go too far with the pulling of heart strings, but never fear, the issues are dealt with very well.
Secrets of the tides covers quite a lot of territory, but it is all around guilt and the causes of that guilt. Two sisters are the main characters, Dora who is pregnant, in a happy relationship, but not quite allowing herself to feel she deserves such happiness because of an incident during childhood. Dora feels her mother has never forgiven her for it, and the ramifications lead to Dora’s sister, Cassie leaving home and shutting herself off from the rest of the family, and for the most part, the world.
The background is a fractious relationship between the girls’ parents who have had trouble dealing with the tragedy. Before that had happened however, there were already difficulties between them. One of the main causes of that is the house they live in, which carries the burden of the husband’s family history. Again, secrets are involved.
I don’t want to give away the plot, but be assured, you will want to keep reading, to find out what happened, and what happens next.
Secrets of the Tides is a debut novel, but it shows a lot of depth, and the writing is very good. This would be a good book group choice.