A debut memoir about the extraordinary relationship between a woman and a deer that she rescued.
In 1999, Carner and her husband, Pino Blangiforti, had a small farm, Unicorn Hollow, in Tewksbury, New Jersey, where they raised alpacas. One day in May, the author found a small, abandoned fawn that was no more than a few days old and close to death. Carner, drawing on years of experience as a paramedic, scooped up the animal and brought her to the house, placing her in a bathroom they used for their at-risk young alpacas. In riveting detail, she recounts how she revived the fawn they named Blossom with a tiny oxygen mask, intravenous fluids, drops of water on her tongue, and a bit of honey. As Blossom grew stronger, Carner brought her outside to reacclimatize her to her natural environment. The fawn and the author’s Maltese puppy, Kaya, played together in the house and the yard; at night, they curled up together on the bathmat in the shower. Blossom also played with Carner and Pino, greeting them with affectionate face licks. Gradually, friends and neighbors met Blossom. However, Tewksbury had an avid hunting community, and the deer was wandering and staying in the woods more frequently. In engaging, conversational prose, the narrative tracks Carner’s tireless efforts to keep Blossom safe from hunters over approximately four-and-a-half years; she even fashioned a special collar for her. With the tension of a thriller, the book describes the threatening phone calls that she received, in which locals expressed anger at the publicity surrounding Blossom, as well as a time that she had to save Blossom from someone who was intentionally poisoning her. There’s also a dramatic moment when Blossom suddenly arrived to rescue Carner on a muddy slope: “She shifted to support my weight and allowed me to crawl, inch by inch, until I could rest on her back…only turning to nuzzle my neck.”
A thought-provoking, poignant, and unusual love story that lingers.