Desert Isle Keeper
Quirky, innovative, original, and unpredictable are just some of the words that come to mind when describing this new release by Lisa Walker. I was thoroughly charmed by these attributes – so much so that it joins my short list of Desert Isle Keepers.
Developers working to put through a housing project on the edge of the rainforest run into a little problem with the public. However, Cassandra, part of Sydney’s “A” PR Team, knows how to fight fire with fire. The only way to deal with the plaguy nutters from Save the Long-footed Potoroo Community Group is to fund her own group, the People’s Counsel for Better Community Services. But when all is discovered, Cassandra is the one going down in flames. Wazza, her boss and mentor, mournfully lets her go. Of course she was only following the first rule of public relations – do what it takes – but failed the second rule: Don’t let them catch you . Looking to get out of town for six months or so until the scandal dies down, she accepts a job as a public relations specialist for a wildlife agency in Beechville.
Cassandra always thought of the country as slow and relaxing. Envisioning work days posing with a koala or rocking on a veranda, Cassandra doesn’t foresee any difficulty contending with anything Beechville can throw at her. But that’s before she has to organize Feral Pig Awareness Day, and deal with the loss of the Hasting River Mouse. Home life is not much better since her toilet is occupied by a tree frog she names René, after the philosopher René Descartes. And at work, soon she is dreaming of her antagonistic co-worker with his chiseled jaw, dark curly hair and blue vivid eyes. But it is seems impossible to gain his attention. Why does he hold her in dislike so much?
And who, exactly, is Cassandra? Is she defined by her surroundings? First she was a shy, introverted, pudgy schoolgirl, then a dissident uni student, and finally a sophisticated career woman. Who is she now, without her waterfront apartment and designer clothes? She spent years inventing Cassandra, but it seems like Cassie is appearing again. With only her tattered book of Annotated Alice to rely on, Cassandra must discover who she is and who she wants to be.
Told in the first person, this book is filled with charm, humor, absurdity, and wit, but the pièce de résistance is the plot. More chick lit than romance, there is still enough for me to be gratified. I smiled and laughed my way all through the book, and then I picked it up to start reading it all over again. In my mind that makes this a DIK.
Since the author is Australian, the sad news is it is not yet available in print form here in the U.S. The good news is that it is available on Kindle and you can read it with all the Kindle apps. If you are looking for something unique and offbeat, filled with Alice in Wonderland and philosophy by Descartes, then look no further.