“West With Giraffes” by Lynda Rutledge

Genre: Historical Fiction/Coming of AgeWest with Giraffes
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Pub. Date: Feb. 2021

Itsy-Bitsy Review

An old man relives the adventures of his youth while he spends his last days in a nursing home. Reminiscent to the novel, “Water for Elephants,” “West With Giraffes” is also a romantic period drama set in the Depression.  It too is part: historical fiction, coming-of-age, an unconventional love story, and discovering that animals can be your most meaningful friends. “West” is based on the true story of two giraffes that made headlines for surviving an overseas trip where they were left for dead. The tale is a good one, giving us a snapshot of the extreme culture of zoos, but the writing often had a predictable feel—one too many clichés. However, I did appreciate that the author included the actual newspaper clippings on the giraffes in her novel.  It added authenticity to the story. Possibly, because I am a huge fan of “Elephants,” with its flawless pacing that I did not see in “Giraffes,” unfairly influenced this review.  Still, I recommend that you try this novel if you enjoy historical fiction centering on animals. I believe, like “Elephants,” the novel would make a very good movie.

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