Originally published: 15 February 2018
Author: Rob Palk
Set in: London / Gloucestershire Woods
Page count: 304
Reading dates: 2-6 February 2018
Animal Lovers was sent to me by Sandstone Press as part of an Instagram promotion. Written by Rob Palk, Animal Lovers starts with the breakdown of Stuart and Marie’s 4-month long marriage, with Marie announcing she can’t stay married to him as she believes she has to save the badgers.
Marie has decided to become part of a group of activists who are against a badger cull and who camp out in woods protecting the badgers. She has also become very fond of another protestor, Henry. Stuart decides to save his marriage he has to care about the badgers too in order to get his wife back.
Described as “Bitterly Funny” (I wish they wouldn’t do that), there are moments of humour, but don’t expect to be rolling around on the floor. This was a slow burner for me – it took me a while to get into. We learn about Stuart’s near death experience in great detail and the fact that his health is still bad and get introduced to other characters, including protestors (who are all a bit of a caricature) and the sad a lonely men Stuart shares a flat with.
This is Palk’s first novel. It seems to be a bit autobiographical – Palk also has also had a near fatal illness and a collapsed marriage. I’d be interested to see what he writes next.
Overall I’d say this was an enjoyable read – the short chapters keep it snappy and fast moving.