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Preview — Darwin's Wink by Alison Anderson
Darwin's Wink: A Novel of Nature and Love
Alison Anderson's Darwin's Wink is the story of an exquisite romance between two naturalists working to save a rare bird species on an island off the coast of Mauritius. Both are devastated by their pasts: Fran mourns the unexplained death of her Mauritian lover; Christian, a former Red Cross worker, has recently left war-torn Bosnia after the mysterious disappearance of h ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Picador
(first published 2004)
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The plot and setting were interesting (biologists pursuing romance and endangered species on an equatorial island off the coast of Africa, and the thing that kept me reading was wanting to see what would happen next. The writing, though, keeps the reader at arm's length from the characters. The narration is indirect, no actual dialogue or thoughts, all third person omniscient and telling the story from a distance.
The storyline had so much potential - it sounded like such a fun book when I read the blurb on the book jacket. Unfortunately, it didn't end up being nearly as good as I had hoped. The characters are distant - I couldn't get invested in them, didn't feel connected at all. The story was told holding a 39-foot pole. I really wanted to like it, but the way it was written, I just couldn't.
I was a bit surprised at how poorly the character, Fran, (an ornithologist and conservationist) seemed to understand Darwinian theory. Then again, the book smacks of Harlequin romance novel meets literature, and more the former than the latter. In short: by a woman, for women. Still, it isn't badly written. It's worth a look, just know what you're getting into.