Jennifer (JC-S)'s Reviews > Captivity

Captivity by Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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Jul 26, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: owned
Read in July, 2008

I enjoyed this novel. In an age where many novels are the size of housebricks, it is a joy to pick up a novel at just under 300 pages that manages to convey a number of messages so well.

In Dr Dana Armstrong’s world, as the director of a sanctuary for chimpanzees in South Carolina, she is doing the best she can for those chimpanzees damaged or exploited by their interaction with humans. Unfortunately, the sanctuary is vandalised, chimpanzees are set free and the resulting publicity threatens to destroy everything that Dana has worked towards. In addition, echoes from Dana’s own childhood are threatening to place her career in jeopardy.
In this moving novel, Ms Wesselmann gives life to an engaging cast of characters, include chimpanzees and their carers as well as activists, academics and villains. In confronting her past, Dana also learns to face a different future. This story is both heart warming and heart wrenching. It invites readers to think beyond the fiction. Deftly written, without extraneous verbiage, Ms Wesselmann writes a powerful novel where not everything is as it seems. Family secrets, power struggles, romance are issues in the human and chimpanzee worlds as well. I finished this novel some days ago but will continue to think about the messages and their ramifications for some time to come.
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