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The Great Divorce

Posted on

The Great Divorce

Current Status:
In Season
Valerie Martin

We gave it an A

When Valerie Martin (author of Mary Reilly, a shrewd feminist retelling of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story) says The Great Divorce, she means nothing less than ”the breakup between the human species and the rest of nature.” Ellen Clayton, veterinarian at the New Orleans Zoo, finds it increasingly hard to be optimistic about her work in light of the fact that wild animals, at the rate of one species every day, are being driven out of existence. Ironically, though, it’s her husband’s desperate effort to get back in touch with his ”wild” instinctual nature that puts their marriage on the endangered list. As the Claytons’ private life dissolves, their professional lives gradually introduce us to a pair of women whose oddly linked tragedies weave together the novel’s thematic texture. A carefully calibrated blend of gothic horror and psychological drama, this is an extraordinary, and endlessly mysterious, work of fiction. A