I have not even read Water For Elephants. I don't know why, but for some reason when a book becomes soooo big that everyone and their mother is reading it, I don't want to read it. I think because there is so much hype about it, and I'm afraid that it's not going to live up to it's reputation. I just don't know.
But anyway, I picked up Ape House because a couple of weeks ago, me and the fam had an outing to The Bronx Zoo. It was a fabulous day. A little drizzly and cool. We were practically the only ones there, and if you've ever been to The Bronx Zoo, you know that is a rare occurence!
But I digress.
My favorite part of the B.Z. is going in to see the Gorillas! They are so human-like, it's almost disturbing. Fascinating to watch, I could sit there all day.
So when I saw Ape House sitting on the shelf at the library, I thought, "oooh, I bet it will be like watching the Gorillas!"
It was a great book. Although it was about Bonobo Apes, not Gorillas, it was still as engrossing as I hoped it would be!
Isabel Duncan has spent her life training Bonobo Apes to use American Sign Language. She believes it is possible to communicate with these great creatures who share 94% of humans' DNA, and from all of her research and observations so far, she is very right!
She is doing some wonderful work with the apes, and is communicating with each and every one of them on a human level. Until a bomb rocks the research facility, critically injuring Isabel and allowing the Bonobos to escape.
Tranquilized and without Isabel to guide them, they are sold to an entertainment venue and are made the stars of "Ape House", a reality show based on the behavior of Bonobo Apes.
Teaming with reporter John Thigpen, Isabel is hardpressed to save her "family" before harm comes to either them or the horrible people who are keeping them from her.
From start to finish, Ape House was everything I wanted it to be! Heartwarming, sad, refreshing and honest. It touched on many issues including animal rights and freedom of speech. But it was also a love story, in a very different sense of being a "love story". Isabel loved her apes as if they were human. She treated them like children. She had their very best interest at heart, and would have crawled over broken glass to protect and save them.
This was the first Sara Gruen novel I have read, and now I am rethinking my decision to not read Water For Elephants! Maybe after all the excitement and hype over the movie die down, I'll remember how I loved Ape House, and decide to give it a go.
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