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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

Fox and I By Catherine Raven: A Book Review

A Spontaneous Outing

I'd been hearing a tapping on what sounded like my wall connected to my neighbor's condo. After 20 minutes of hearing this continue, I finally flipped my comforter off to investigate. To my surprise there was knocking coming from the front door.

Low and behold it was a friend of mine who had recently moved back to town and wanted to surprise me.

I quickly put on some pants, and we hit the town catching up at the same time. A few hours later, we found ourselves wandering the local bookstore where out of the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful book cover with a whimsical fox. I grabbed it along with a few more books which stood out and made my way home.

Overview of Fox and I

Fox and I is a memoir following the author as she slowly becomes friends with a fox who inhabits the land surrounding her home along with other creatures of the forest. During their encounters, Catherine is reminded of her time and experience of the wildlife spent as a park ranger in the National Forests as well as her teachings to undergraduate students.

The Cons of Fox and I

· Highly Descriptive

Never in my life have I ever read a story so descriptive. Every sentence, of every scene, of every paragraph, contains unusual and unconventional words describing even the simplest of ideas. After a while it's a bit much and leaves less to the imagination.

· Long Tangents

While reading, the author will start out strong with a concept which you are interested in but somehow manage to go on a whole tangent which leads into another tangent until she finally gets back to the main point. It's a rollercoaster trying to get there and in the end it's not a very fun ride. It's like she is trying to relate her past experiences with her current situation but they somehow they do not overlap.

· Is it a Memoir?

Catherine Raven speaks of her time but there are instances where it suddenly jumps into the fox's perspective. At times you don't realize this is the case and often have to reread to figure out what is happening. Because the fox's perspective happens when the author is not around, I wouldn't necessarily consider this a memoir but more storytelling than anything.

· The Author

People are complex but I find the author, who seems to have a simple life, to be more complex and confusing than she should. For someone who does not believe in killing animals, such as black widows, she finds it appropriate to hunt.

There is also her relationship with people. For someone who wasn't raised in a loving home and even mentions wanting to have friends, she doesn't remember the name of a person she mentioned she spent an enormous amount of time with, even flying out to go on vacation. It's just very odd and doesn't line up.

· Not Believable

With the intense descriptions, and the conversations and interactions with other people seemed written as if for the big screen. The story or should I say 'the script' was not believable and made reading less enjoyable.

The Pros of Fox and I

· Local Author

I love supporting local companies and, in this case, a local author. Many of the places described are of my current home and surroundings. It shows the beauty in nature through a local's eyes which not everyone gets to witness.

Overall Review Summary

As you can see from the lack of Pros I do not find this novel at the top of my list. In fact, I still have 100 pages left to read as I can only read 10-15 pages at a time. It's taken me months to even get as far as I have. It's such a shame as I hoped to love this book as much as I loved spotting it on the shelf in the bookstore.

Between the long tangents and unnecessary long descriptions, I find myself bored and often skipping pages at a time to read the good stuff. The cover which is beautiful, and enchanting seems misleading to what's inside (this seems to be my downfall with books!). This is a big surprise considering how many best-selling authors have praised the book.

I'm saddened to say I give this book a 1 out of 5 stars. If the author was able to somehow relate her pasts experiences with her current situation more I think would have made for a better story. I'm still going to try and press through as the story is coming to a close but will most likely donate the book for more interesting stories on my bookshelf once complete.

If you love book review and are interested in reading more with Pros, I suggest taking a look at my review for Midnight Sun, A Witch in Time, or The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue!

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