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SUMMARY The Animal Wife

DOWNLOAD The Animal Wife 108 ↠ Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's first novel an international best seller drew praise of the highest kind Reindeer Moon deserves a place of distinction right at the head of the line of the great series of 'historical' novels wrote the late Joseph Campbell It was published in fourteen languages and won a Hemingway Award Citation The AniEd in fourteen languages and won a Hemingway Award Citation The Animal Wife may well rank by its side for this new novel shares half a world with its predecessor Whereas Reindeer Moon saw the life of prehistoric humankind through the eyes of Yanan a gifted but rebe. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas writes with such authority and such power about a way of life that most of us now no longer know or have any way of knowing as the last of the hunter gatherers and those peoples who still follow The Old Ways are almost gone Her experiences with people who still revere nature without converting it into a god or God but allowing nature to be simply what it is She infuses her novels with this sense of what we would term religion but is of an is ness than religion in our sense Even when spirits are called they are not all knowing or all seeing or even always benevolent Her greatest gift though is allowing us into the lives and minds of people who we could never hope to know whose ways we could never truly emulate even if we wanted to but for all that still possess the same hopes and dreams and jealousies as the rest of us She chooses an interesting narrator for The Animal Wife in Kori because to me the story is really about Muskrat her deep shame her loneliness the feelings she must have had about Kori both tender and not and her eventual choice to do what she felt was right Kori seems almost spoiled and child like throughout the novel and it is her skill as a writer that keeps us reading and reading even if we don't always or even rarelyagree with Kori's choices Myth like and almost poetic her narrative draws us in to the life and death struggles of a people living on the margin wintering in Siberia and shows us how deeply uestions of survival play into the social decisions of the clans and people We can no longer imagine what it would be like to transgress against others and be starved in return but our heart still aches for Muskrat when it happens to her

REVIEW ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ð Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's first novel an international best seller drew praise of the highest kind Reindeer Moon deserves a place of distinction right at the head of the line of the great series of 'historical' novels wrote the late Joseph Campbell It was publish. 35 – 4 starsSociety whether based on the family the tribe or even the nation is a basic element of what makes us human It is something that provides numerous advantages as the many can often accomplish tasks that the few would find impossible not to mention the benefits of mutual support and community that society can provide Nonetheless this human trait of grouping ourselves together has also led to many of the basic evils inherent in our nature and perhaps the greatest of these is its creation of ‘the Other’ anyone outside of our immediate community who becomes eual parts alluring mystery and offensive demon Mary Marshall Thomas tackles this very issue in The Animal Wife the seuel to her Paleolithic historical fantasy Reindeer MoonAs the title indicates Thomas takes as her model the folktales of the animal wife a woman who is really an animal masuerading as a human who becomes the lover or wife of a man In the end the relationship ends up causing some kind of difficulty or problem usually revolving around human social taboos and then she disappears back into the wilderness taking her children by the man with her In this case the woman in uestion aptly named ‘Muskrat’ by her new ‘husband’ is not actually an animal in disguise though from the perspective of her husband and his people this might as well be the case The main players of the tale are closely related to the characters in the previous novel many of them making a re appearance This time our main character is Kori the son of Swift the Mammoth Hunter chieftain and shaman from the previous book who comes to live with his father’s people and in the process stumbles upon a strange woman he sees swimming in the lake near his father’s winter hunting grounds Driven by a compulsion even he doesn’t understand Kori eschews all caution and abducts the woman claiming her as a pseudo wife At first his tribe is unhappy with Kori’s rash action but when no immediate reprisals from the woman’s tribe are forthcoming they come to accept that this slave is now a part of their daily livesSlave is not really too severe a word to use for Muskrat’s role amongst these people While Kori does not treat her particularly harshly at least compared to how all women seem to have been treated in this society and even comes to feel that he loves her she is not a true member of his tribe and thus cannot claim any of their rights Muskrat is often left hungry even when others are well fed since no one wishes to share with her and is always expected to do the tasks no one else wishes to do regardless of how difficult or even dangerous they may be I don’t think there is any way to get around discussing this book without acknowledging the issue of rape Indeed rape is clearly an underlying theme of this novel as it is a basic fact that Kori rapes Muskrat in both the older sense of ‘stole her from her people’ as well as the common usage regarding non consensual sex and ultimately fathers a child on her Surprisingly Thomas is still able to have Kori be than just a villain at least I found it so perhaps partially due to the s of the time as expressed by Thomas though perhaps as a result of Muskrat’s seemingly pragmatic acceptance of her position as well as the fact that Kori himself doesn’t seem to even see that she is anything other than his wifethough this may be uibbling and I feel I am treading on dangerous ground here Suffice it to say that Kori ends up coming across as selfish and clueless as opposed to truly villainous or evil and Muskrat is far than merely a victimStrange to say even though most of the characters act in ways that a modern reader is likely to find at least mildly reprehensible I found many of them to be sympathetic and enjoyable though perhaps I’m just a natural misanthrope Swift the patriarchal chieftain of the tribe for all of his macho bluster and self regarding opinions is a man of astute observations who can be as congenial as he is self interested Kori’s Uncle Andriki is a level headed and jovial man usually able to head off conflict in the tribe or smooth over ruffled feathers with a few well placed words Kori himself the narrator and ostensible main character of the novel is often frustratingly naïve and selfish though he does ultimately come across as someone with a good heart for all of his faults Muskrat the animal wife herself and perhaps the true centre of the tale is fascinating Often as much a mystery to the reader as she is to Kori and his people through her inability to communicate with them she is soon seen to be a woman of strength and resilience who has enough room in her heart even for the man who took her from her people and the son he fathers upon her Thomas does an excellent job here as she did in her previous book with bringing her vision of a Paleolithic world to life Her mammoth hunters are a fascinating group of people with a complex culture centred around the cycles of nature and the importance of family and familial relationships The roles of male and female are sharply defined not only in the daily life of the people but in their minds at least also in the wider world and cosmos beyond them Of central importance to the tale are the female and male principles spiritually and mystically personified in the figures of Ohun and the Bear each of which has its own proper sphere of influence and to whom the shamans would plead for aid and mercy From the supernatural world this intertwining of male and female extended to the human and each gender ‘owned’ some central aspect of the human world which came under their particular care whether it was the lodges and hunting grounds of men or the family lineages and mysteries of birth of women Within the tribe the primary component of human society in the novel one’s rights and obligations were all tied to one’s family and connections one’s place being defined by where one sat amongst what could often become a very tangled set of relationsOne of humanity’s greatest advantages perhaps the only one that allowed us to survive as a species and the one by which we continue to define ourselves was our ability to innovate; to change our manner of living to suit our environment and develop tools to meet challenges not able to be overcome by mere strength and perseverance alone Despite this need for innovation to survive we come to see that the heavy reliance on the age old cycles of nature and what one’s tribe derived from them often made this innovation and change difficult to perform or even conceive More often than not even the merest hint that anything ought to be done differently was considered aberrant When Kori and Andriki first see Muskrat swimming in a lake seemingly for pleasure an act for which she gets her name they at first can’t even conceive that it is a human being They wonder what human would willingly immerse themselves in deep water and swim in it for no apparent reason Many of Muskrat’s ways and innovations such as snow shoes are not truly appreciated and are even spurned and ridiculed by Kori and his tribe despite the advantages being apparent At other times such as when they find the remnants of a bow and arrow an innovation cannot even be understood by them One begins to wonder how or if this set of humans has the ability to look beyond their own noses until we see that even Swift for all of his hidebound ways is sometimes able to look beyond “what has always been” and tries to innovate such as in his early attempts to train a wolf to help in hunting Social s that provide stability and order on the one hand are constantly in contention with the need to innovate and improve on the other When two cultures with eually strong and yet different concepts of “how things are” meet the sad fact is that violence and death are likely to follow than are dialogue from which both could learn and growThis book and its predecessor were eually entertaining and thought provoking and I only wish that there were volumes in which I could follow the lives of the mammoth hunters and see if they are able to learn and grow from their experiences Definitely recommended

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas Ð 8 DOWNLOAD

The Animal WifeLlious woman The Animal Wife which takes place a few years later is narrated by young Kori a marvelous hunter as prodigious in the chase as he is ignorant of the ways of women Yet Kori too is confined by his society interdependent as it is with the world of animals. This book is harder to review than its companion Reindeer Moon which I read immediately prior It is every bit as engaging but I found it much harder to read The main character Kori was to me a MUCH less sympathetic character than Yanan of Reindeer Moon The grave sin he commits is not just committed in his one act of abduction but Kori continues to transgress against the woman he claims and claims to love with his compete lack of understanding or empathy for her or her people His actions and beliefs cause intense suffering for Muskrat the woman he abducts and also his own people and himself His youthful bravado and machismo make him ugly and cruel though he would not think himself so These things disturbed me greatly Kori's unintended and unrepentant brutality was hard to bear Another reviewer was correct when they said that the story was Muskrat's than Kori's But we see Muskrat primarily through Kori's eyes and have to learn of her and infer her story though his blind eyes at least through most of the book I wish there was emphasis on other characters that were also in Reindeer Moon especially Teal a strong woman and a powerful shaman Despite my misgivings about the POV this book was well written exciting poignant and thought provoking