I made a mistake.
I read West With Giraffes far too fast. I practically devoured it as though I were starving. And I haven’t had a drought of good books lately – A Little Life, Shadows of Pecan Hollow, and My Monticello were all excellent reads. But there was something incredibly wholesome and renewing about this one. The animals had my heart from the moment they were introduced, and the book continued at such a fast pace that I didn’t realize I was closing in on the end until it was already upon me.
Woodrow Wilson Nickel is one of my favorite male characters written by a female author, though Boy and Girl were easily my favorite characters in the book. Every character felt like they served a purpose and weren’t there for bloat. The unlikeable characters were exceptionally unlikable, the loveable ones exceptionally loveable.
This book was a compelling treatise on the notion that animals are more than just the meat on the table in front of us, more than just entertainment at a circus, more than just lowly creatures living out of instinct. We are them; they are us.
If you want an adventurous book about a bygone era, a cautionary tale of mass extinctions (à la Migrations), and a story about underdogs saving the day, then West With Giraffes is for you. Five out of five stars; I wholly recommend it.
Date read: January 28th, 2022