Written on: 02/11/2012 by plappen (114 reviews written)
No Other Way, Roger Real Drouin, 2012, ISBN 9781937327064
This novel is about two men and a near-mythical bird.
Samuel is a famous bird photographer who is also dealing with his wife's death from cancer a year earlier. He is very familiar with the story of the Northern Stilted Curlew. It is a bird that has not been photographed in the wild in many years. That is because it may, or may not, be extinct. It is the bird watcher's equivalent of the Holy Grail.
The Curlew migrates several thousand miles each year. Among its last untouched nesting areas is in the northern reaches of the Sanford National Forest in Utah. There are no roads; the area is accessible only after several days of hiking. Samuel makes the trek to look for the Curlew.
Things are complicated by a natural gas corporation getting the required permits to beging fracking inside the forest. There will not be just a few wells; there will be many wells, including in the Curlew's nesting area.
Thomas is a forest ranger who has had a run-in with the law. He did a stupid thing, but for the right reasons. He and Samuel put their heads together and see if they can do something to stop the fracking, and preserve a small piece of untouched wilderness.
This an excellent piece of writing. Drouin shows that he knows, and cares, a lot for the natural environment. This is very much recommended.
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