Tuesday, June 19, 2012


BK Loren

Counterpoint, 2012

The story of Willa Robbins begins with her childhood. In 1980, Willa lived with his elder brother Zeb, the father working three jobs, and the mother who had Parkinson's disease. In order to somehow maintain a sick woman in her condition, her husband works nights and days, and children are constantly making forays into homes across the county, stealing everything that can be sold to buy drugs.

The initiator of repeated thefts is always Zeb, Willa doesn’t like stealing, but she realizes that these thefts have a good cause. So in the fist novel scene, when the brother and sister climbs into another house, whose owners had gone for a while, Willa thinks that there is someone in the house and now they're caught. But the little thieves (although they are not quite so small children) walk free, and Zeb and Willa come up with a ridiculous story for the police.

Now Willa is working like a tracker, tracking the wild animals and help them move to other areas. She had long left her native Colorado, moved to New Mexico, where she’s helping the population of Mexican wolves, endangered species. She had not seen her brother since she left home, almost 25 years ago. Suddenly, Willa receives a call from Colorado police, with news of Zeb. He sent the police a written confession to the murder, but did not surrender voluntarily and set off running. Zeb knows the area well enough that the police simply can not track him. Prior to that, for many years, Zeb made numerous thefts, but he’d never been caught and did not leave evidence. Now it is much more serious crime. In search of the killer police will gather all the resources. The police know that Willa is a master tracker, and asks Willa to help keep track of Zeb. With Willa there is a chance that Zeb would be taken alive, without Willa a police will have permit to shoot to kill. Will has no choice, and she agrees to come soon to Colorado.

Accuracy and vividness of writing make this book a pleasant surprise. Novels about animals and trackers, it would seem, are something awfully boring, just for the fans, but Loren splash with new colors a set of methods covered with mold. There are no tear passages like "Let's save our smaller brothers", and no tedious descriptions of nature, animals and animals in nature. «Theft» is a book about people, about how they are integrated into the wild world, how people haven’t gone far away from wildlife. What is spectacular: none of the main characters of the novel have a family, children. Family is something artificial, unreal, and the distance from civilization does not contribute to finding a life partner. The heroes of the book helps to accustom the animals in their natural habitat, but they themselves are not adapted to the world. However, they are unlikely to suffer from it. The author gives no reason to believe that Willa and Zeb, and Brenda feel themselves as flawed.

Loren achieves an amazing evenness of style when jumps from one time period to another. The chapters written in 1980 are more poignant, but those that occur in the present are more informed. Time of the murder is also described quite reasonably.

The same can’t be said about the alternation of narrators. Chapters from the Zeb’s point of view turned out far more constrained than the Willa’s chapters.

«Theft» in general is nothing extraordinary, strong prose, cut above the standard filling the shelves books, but it is neither a must read.

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