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Darwin's Wink: A Novel of Nature and Love by…
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Darwin's Wink: A Novel of Nature and Love

by Alison Anderson

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242670,485 (3.5)None
"Two naturalists find unexpected love as they work to save a rare bird species on an island off the coast of Mauritius. Both are haunted by old ghosts and hardened by past tragedies. Fran mourns the mysterious death of her Mauritian lover; Christian, a former International Red Cross worker, has recently arrived from Bosnia, where the woman he loved disappeared during the war. As the two of them slowly learn to trust again, they must also contend with strange threats to the island that put everything at risk." "Darwin's Wink is a story that weaves emotional explorations of love, fertility, evolution, and survival - all against an exotic, lush island setting. This is a book for the readers of Andrea Barrett, Barbara Kingsolver, and other writiers who marry story and nature."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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The writing style was too distant for my enjoyment--characters feelings & thoughts seemed to come from some outside observer. Perhaps that is meant to reflect the isolation/loneliness that Fran feels, but it doesn't work. Altho the jacket talks about a strong heroine, the story is mainly about Christian, a Swiss young man who can't forget the lover he had when he worked in Bosnia for the Red Cross. Yes, Fran is strong, and you get a few glimpses of it in comments about the work she does, but you never get a real feel for her as a person. The best part is her comparison of bird mating rituals developed thru evolution to those of humans.
Well, OK, another good part, tho only for those of a certain persuasion and not good enough to make up for the writing style, is the preaching about extinction & human interference with nature. ( )
  juniperSun | Nov 18, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book since I used to work in Mauritius.
  mariflorida | Jun 28, 2006 |
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Epigraph
Ki lalang ki zame ti manti? Lalang zanimo. (Which language never lies? The language of animals)
---Traditional Mauritian Sirandane, or riddle.
When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the rigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.
---Charles Darwin, "On The Origin of Species"
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for my family
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At dusk the woman stands at the edge of the island to watch the birds in flight above the lagoon.
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In her will there is defiance, and a touch of the irrational. At times she wonders if that is what distinguishes the brilliant naturalist from the competent one. (p. 225)
...the illusion of society, of continuity--pairing, mating, families--is another of Nature's clever tools...Isn't loneliness, after all, a human construct, arising from that same illusion--its counterpart, its secret fear, its shadow? (p. 253)
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