Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SECOND NATURE by Alice Hoffman

A story of a boy raised by wolves? Only Alice Hoffman can pull that off. And the story is really about the man after he rejoins civilization. Uncommunicative and possibly violent, Stephen is handcuffed for his trip from the hospital's psych ward to the state mental hospital, when Robin impulsively hoodwinks his guards and whisks him to her home. Word slowly leaks out about the man, and guess who gets the blame when a teenage girl turns up dead, her throat neatly slit? In the meantime, though, Robin has fallen in love with him. Now Stephen is torn between his love/lust for Robin and his desperate need to get back into the wild. This would be a much better book if it weren't so unfailingly predictable, but I was still curious enough to find out how things would ultimately play out. My take on this was that we all tend to fear that which we don't understand, and even the strongest relationship is susceptible to doubt and mistrust when the pressures and prejudices of the outside world start closing in.

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