Unlikely Animals Review

March 18, 2023
David Sunnyside

unlikely animals review

Unlikely Animals review

It is difficult to call fiction about the opioid crisis hopeful and tender, but Annie Hartnett does it without making light of these real-world implications in her empathetic novel Featuring a daughter who performs miracles with a touch, a father who suffers hallucinations from whatever’s in his brain that is killing him, and a small New Hampshire town inhabited by a community of ghosts, Despite the seriousness of its themes, Unlikely Animals is a warm and charming story.

This is a book where the characters explore the limits and solidity of friendship, family loyalty, and the clinging to hope, and where they reveal mistakes and imperfections. Unlikely Animals is also about the importance of finding one’s own path, despite being told by someone else.

Emma Starling is a natural healer and has failed to get into medical school, so she returns to her home in Everton, New Hampshire, to care for her father, who suffers from a mysterious brain disease. She also needs to come to terms with her parents’ marriage, her brother’s recent bout with drug addiction, and her own lack of direction.

With the help of her mother, who has a knack for connecting with animals and is an expert at reading their behavior, Emma begins to learn more about her father’s condition. She’s also trying to reconnect with her best friend Crystal from high school, who disappeared in college and has not been seen since.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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