Title: Friday’s Harbor
Author: Diane Hammond
Publisher: William Morrow
When reading works of fiction, I sometimes find myself laughing at the way a character is crafted. For instance, there is a middle-aged woman in the tale who believes she can communicate with animals. The reason I laughed when the character was first introduced was how this idea conveys that animals and mankind are on the same plane so to speak. However, for those who believe and confess Jesus as Lord we know the Word says that God made humans in His image and to care for his creatures. For the sake of the novel I found this character to be lost, believing she was talking to animals, lonely without human interaction and without a doubt sometimes comical.
Then there is the zoo’s major donor who has money to pour into saving animal lives, but also assists in any way people who need all sorts of different help. Another character in the novel is the zoo’s director who owns a pot-bellied pig. The pig is a hoot and acts more like a dog than a pig. The zoo’s founder is a lone extravagant woman, Maxine L. Beidelman, who, before her death, gives her exotic animals, property and money to the zoo.
As I continued reading, I got the impression that some of the main characters were from earlier novels by the author though I can’t be sure as this was the first one I read by Diane Hammond. For a secular book in some ways it was interesting when the storyline centered on a whale named Friday. I love animals and think they are amazing creations and a testimony to our astounding God who created them. I believe we are entrusted with their care which one aspect the book brings out along with those who fight for animals being held captive. Friday was rescued from a zoo that didn’t have the means to care for such a large mammal though in the novel the citizens adorned the whale.
Part of me would love to suggest you read it, enjoying the peculiar characters as well as the scenes with interaction between the mammal and caretakers. On the other hand, the language is one aspect that does disrupt the adventure found within the pages. As a Christian reading it, there are times when characters seemed to be mirrors of real human beings with all the brokenness and baggage. Also, there is a scene where an older woman contemplates yet doesn’t act upon homosexuality because of her experiences with men. There is a couple living together, but they are not married. This work of fiction is written with a total worldview focus. There is no spiritual context whatsoever, so don’t look for it.
My rating is 3 stars.
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