Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Walk on the Wild Side: "How to Be Human” by Patricia Cocozza

How to Be Human by Patricia Cocozza begins with a woman finding a baby on the doorstep of the cottage where she lives, and from there develops into the growing relationship between this woman, Mary, and a fox she sees in her garden, which backs a woodsy area. 

Mary is a young divorced woman who got to keep the house in her divorce, and although relieved to be free of her controlling husband, a sense of loneliness now permeates her life.  The fox becomes an obsession for her and a menace to her neighbors. 

This fox is not only a wild creature but seems to sense what Mary needs, besides its  friendship. It begins to shower her with gifts. Gifts which Mary at first finds puzzling but later begins to look forward to. These tokens must mean something. Is this fox, her fox, trying to tell her something?

 Meanwhile, around her, her neighbors visit and squabble and complain. Her ex-husband seems to be lurking in the neighborhood. Her job is a trial and boring. More and more she longs to be done with everything and just spend quiet evenings in her yard waiting for the fox to appear. As she and the fox become closer you get the fox’s viewpoint for some of the events that occur.

What happens in this beautifully written story unfolds slowly and you begin to see how this charming, clever creature would captivate Mary, and the reader and the Militant Recommender, as well! 

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