I read this novel in conjunction (accidentally) with that movie Captain Fantastic and also while playing Horizon Zero Dawn. All three have share some parallels with living off the land, primitivism, environmentalist, violence, and processing the potential coming humanistic crisis.
Captain Fantastic suffered mightily with tone issues. It couldn’t tell if it wanted to be Wes Anderson or Alexander Payne or Sean Penn. It tried to have serious drama, whimsy, parody, and a few other things and makes shortcuts among them.
Horizon Zero Dawn might be one of the best video games I have ever played. Super fun, great story, wide but controlled scope and I am actually excited for new places to go.
And then this novel involves a journalist going back to the Washington state islands where her died 20 years ago in, what I am pretty sure was, a fictional earthquake. The island where her father died servicing the power plant has been “reclaimed” by a environmentalist group living off the land and trying to use natural methods to reclaim it from the toxicity.
Told with an eye to memory, trauma, poison, altered states, and mysticism this novel is somewhere in the middle of those other two things.
Anyway, it’s pretty good. It’s not world-changing, but it takes a clear stance on trying to control the uncontrollable and how to be rational actors in an irrational world. It’s well-written, it’s a little bit of a mystery, it has some “S-Town” vibes to it, and ultimately it was worth reading.
Mostly I am trying to wonder what I am thinking about in my core given how these three things came into my life at the same time.