THE NATURE NOTEBOOKS by Don Mitchell

THE NATURE NOTEBOOKS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Trouble ensues when an environazi from the Left Coast hatches a plan to take down a mountain development—and seduces a few local women to help him pull it off.

Kyle Hess is one of those writers who are read only by other writers—in this case, nature writers like those in Erin Furlong’s Burlington, Vermont, workshop. A transplanted Oregonian, Erin was once Kyle’s lover back home, and she invites him to meet with her workshop and share his insights on nature writing. Not just a mere tree-hugger, Kyle is an outright saboteur who has organized and executed violent attacks against developments in California and the Pacific Northwest, and Erin’s students quickly find that he is more interested in talking about Mount Mansfield than writing. That’s because Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s highest mountain) is now being eyed by real estate developers who want to build a resort, as well as by broadcasters who have already started to erect transmitting towers at the peak. Kyle systematically works his way into the beds of three of Erin’s students—llama farmer Lauren, realtor Marianna, and sports bimbo Rachel—bringing each into his underground plan to subvert the construction. Marianna is an unwilling accomplice from the first, and Lauren becomes increasingly wary when she learns that Kyle is being hunted by angry movement types from California over some mishap that he fomented back there. But Rachel is a total groupie, and they are all madly enough in love with him to push their qualms out the window along with their self-respect. So we know there will be big trouble soon. Erin alone seems to know what Kyle is capable of, but she still goes weak in the knees when he’s about.

Witty, intelligent activist-caper, with a thought-provoking narrative that doesn’t get swamped in its own satire.

Pub Date: April 16th, 2004
ISBN: 1-58465-357-4
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2004