Many of you will have realised by now, that the books I review on this blog have some sort of environmental content. Food of Ghosts doesn’t have an environmental focus (the rising sea levels that threaten Kiribati are present as an issue only in the mind of an informed reader) and nature is very much in the background most of the time. However, the action takes to the water often enough for there to be several passages about the underwater wildlife, this one showing how the benign beauty of the surroundings can hide a threatening danger:
‘It was like being in a massive aquarium, but better: clown fish scurried between forms of red coral; wave after wave of silver slithers did the loop the loop; a bunch of toothy, multi-coloured parrot fish five bombed an oblivious gliding ray. She didn’t know how long she’s been snorkelling aimlessly for when she saw the turtle. It paddled on the sea floor before swimming further and further into the cavernous ocean. Curiously, Louisa followed it. The water became cloudy. The outline of the turtle grew fuzzier. Louisa kicked faster. Then it was gone and she was alone in the grey green vastness of the bottomless sea.’
It’s a very readable story, set in a fascinating location and with an intriguing cast of characters both Kiribati and expatriate.
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