Refuge by Ruth Connolly is an ecological adventure about human escapism as much as animal welfare. This book moves the reader, while discussing the clash between capitalism and conservation. Keep reading for a detailed review.
Jane, the tough and cynical protagonist, joins a wildlife refuge to hide from a mysterious past that gradually unravels throughout the book.
While volunteering, she forms a bond with a jaguar called Max and decides to free him before the rundown refuge is completely closed down by its own town.
But her efforts don’t go according to plan, forcing her to challenge her own purpose and beliefs.
Jane is a compelling heroine as she fights for Max and the refuge, while chipping away at the walls she put up, if only to try and connect with people and animals alike, rediscovering herself and what she really wants from life.
Each of the secondary characters in Refuge helps move the book’s plot along, adding heart and tension to the reading experience.
Themes That Move and Excite
Besides themes of freedom, the story plays with desperation, regret, and whether the ends justify the means.
So, the psychological development of Refuge is as intriguing as its action, which involves plenty of twists and turns, both emotional and exciting.
Minor Flaws in the Plot and Characters
The downsides mainly involve clunky dialogue and description here and there, as well as minor plot holes and a slightly corny teen romance thrown in the mix.
One antagonist develops quite abruptly, for example, and Jane makes a long ecological rant at a rather strange moment.
The book’s problems have more to do with a rushed plot than bad writing. A couple of extra chapters would have allowed the story to evolve more naturally.
Refuge: Book Review Conclusion
All-in-all, the writing is smooth, emotive, and easy to read. Jane is likable, and her relationship with Max is the sweetest part of the story.
Refuge is a good book, especially recommended for those who love animals and adventures with engaging characters, interesting social discussions, and meaningful conclusions.
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