The way to a cheating man's heart is through . . . an elephant?
Professional horse trainer Neelie Sterling somehow missed the fact that her veterinarian husband, Matt, was having an affair with his blonde, pretty business partner. Neelie often misses things. (When Matt originally told her he was getting a colleague to help with the practice, she thought he said collie--and Neelie likes dogs.) Now the blonde is saying she's pregnant, and Neelie's life is in a tailspin. But she sees an opportunity to patch up the holes in her disintegrating marriage when she learns that Matt is leaving for Zimbabwe to rescue a badly injured elephant. Foolishly optimistic, she joins the expedition.
On a dangerous, revealing, exhilarating trip through Africa, Neelie comes to learn a lot about herself as a woman and a wife. But it isn't until they return home with their pachyderm patient that her eyes are truly opened to what is going on around her. And with the help of a very large and very special animal, she may even discover how to love again.
Divorce is the elephant in the room for Singer's second novel, following Horseplay. When social worker turned horse trainer Cornelia "Neelie" Sterling finds out her vet husband, Matt, is cheating on her, she throws him out, but can't bear to make it legal. Even after major alarm bells (Matt's partner's pregnancy, Matt's zeroing of the marital joint account), the hearing-impaired Neelie finds "I had not only been deaf, I had also been blind." Faced with losing her house and barn, Neelie jumps aboard Matt's mission to Zimbabwe to rescue two wounded elephants, thinking the transatlantic journey will convince him to recommit to the marriage. There, she finds behemoths in need of care--and the philanthropist who's funding the trip. The secondaries lack texture, but Neelie's misguided struggle rings true. (July)
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July 19, 2009
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