The story is told in the voice of an 11yr old boy as he boards a ship in Colombo bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table” – as far from the Captain’s Table as he can be. Here he meets 2 other boys and a group of “insignificant” adults. As the narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years it tells a story that is entertaining, mysterious, magical, and heartfelt. Ondaatje’s style is innovative and emotional and leaves you with a feeling of experiencing something amazing.
(I listened to some of the book on audio which is read by the author who really makes you feel like you are witnessing the story.)
This book takes a look at how we’ve become estranged from nature and the cultural shifts that led to a dramatic rise in extinctions. The author travels to several different areas of the world that have been touched by extinction and traces the mindset that caused the destructiveness. She also proposes a path of redemption.