The White Puma

R. D. Lawrence, Author
R. D. Lawrence, Author Henry Holt & Company $19.95 (329p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0685-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
This remarkable saga by Canadian field biologist Lawrence is at once a plea for conservation, an emotionally affecting story, a naturalist's report and a literary triumph. The central characters are a family of three pumas (also known as cougars or mountain lions) that roams British Columbia's frosty wilderness. Around them swirl hunters and conservationists, locked in a fierce battle. To safari guide Walter Taggart, an amputee who was repulsed by hunting as a boy, the rare white puma--son of the mother cat he kills--is a future hide, ``one helluva pile of bucks.'' To animal-rights activist Heather Lansing, the svelte feline is a marvelously sensitive creature with which she develops a personal relationship. Because Lawrence ( In Praise of Wolves ) writes so beautifully, without anthropomorphizing, and knows these cats so intimately, the reader is carried along through descriptions of the pumas' hunts, mating practices and confrontations with human predators. The surprise ending reinforces the conservationist theme. No animal lover will be unaffected by this unforgettable novel. (May)
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