Happy Pub Day to Pride of Eden, a new novel by Taylor J. Brown, out today from St. Martin’s Press! I was honored to receive an ARC of this novel through a Goodreads giveaway, and this was an excellent read.
This book follows Anse, a Vietnam veteran who runs an animal sanctuary called Little Eden on the Georgia coast. His specialty is exotic animals — lions, elephants, giraffes, and more — that have been rescued from collapsed circuses & abandoned roadside attractions. Anse is assisted at the sanctuary by Tyler, his veterinarian girlfriend; Lope, a falconer; and Malaya, who used to hunt down big game poachers in Africa. The way that Anse gets his animals isn’t always on the up-and-up, and this gets him into some trouble along the way.
This was a brutally beautiful read. Brown weaves together vignettes about the characters and their background, as well as about the animals that are apart of the sanctuary. This author is a phenomenal writer, one that takes you into the wilderness and makes like you’re being stalked by a wild lion. It was intense but almost poetic in tone.
This has been described as a ‘fever dream of a novel,’ and I absolutely agree. There was so much cruelty against animals & humanity, juxtaposed with the beautiful descriptions of the animals and wilderness. It’s not an easy read if you’re an animal lover; there are multiple scenes of violence against animals. I thought this was a 4/5 star read for me and I’m interested to hear what you think too!