An older white writer and a Native American former military sniper develop a deep bond during a conflict over wildlife on a New England island.
Micah LaVeck lives in a secluded cabin on Aquidneck Island, transcribing antique journals and attending to his nerve and muscle disease. A large population of coyotes threatens the domestic animals and birds of the island, and so the mayor decides to bring in a professional coyote hunter. Micah agrees to let the hunter stay on his land, and when Kodi Red Moon arrives, he’s surprised to find himself strongly drawn to her. Amid an increasingly contentious uproar from various townspeople as word of Kodi's hunt spreads, Micah comes to deeply understand and respect her. Political dissent, ambition on the part of a young reporter, and tension with Micah’s ex-girlfriend lead to multiple confrontations between the pair and the rest of the town. As the hunt ends, Micah and Kodi have to determine what the future holds for their relationship. Conroy (The Seamus Cure, 2015, etc.) wonderfully captures the deep interconnections of a small community and the factions that emerge as political issues become personal. Micah and Kodi are complex characters, but their relationship doesn’t quite overcome the May-December trope and develop a fully authentic dynamic, even as Micah's health begins to deteriorate. The novel is at its best when portraying Aquidneck Island and its wildlife and will appeal to readers interested in the area.
This novel is much like its protagonist: unpretentious and likable.