A thin, terribly serious young veterinarian goes to Oregon and comes head-to-head with the horrors of herbicides in a thin, terribly serious eco-thriller. Skinny, terminally intense young friend-of-the-animals Nora Holing has the very worst luck. She was orphaned at an early age, and the great love of her life, a botanist, also skinny and terminally intense, fell victim to an Iraqi land mine while assessing the ecological aftermath of Desert Storm. Now her dream job at an Oregon clinic and her budding romance with the clinic's craggy founder are mortally threatened by her contact with Luminex, the chemical relied upon by the unspeakably evil lumber interests to kill everything but their piney crop. The slightest brush with Luminex causes terrible birth defects, spontaneous abortions, and stillbirths, but the villagers, having tried once to get the stuff banned and gotten thoroughly mauled by the lumber and ranching moguls for their efforts, have resigned themselves to Chernobylian lives. Jake, Nora's partner in the clinic, makes her swear she will keep her mouth shut about Luminex, but of course she doesn't. She is, after all, a woman of science. She is also pregnant and, while returning from a medical mission, she has been sprayed with the vile substance. Collecting horror stories from any place ever sprayed with Luminex and calling on the legal skills of her wheelchair-bound college housemate, a super-public-service lawyer, Nora tackles the lumber industry, the cattle industry, the chemical industry, the craven villagers, her now ex-partner at the clinic, and Luminex itself. She has a few gutsy, right-thinking allies, but that ought to be enough. Perfect reading for Ralph Nader's next beach trip.
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