cover image Still Life with Elephant

Still Life with Elephant

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Broadway, $22.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-2677-5

Divorce is the elephant in the room for Singer's second novel, following Horseplay . When social worker turned horse trainer Cornelia "Neelie" Sterling finds out her vet husband, Matt, is cheating on her, she throws him out, but can't bear to make it legal. Even after major alarm bells (Matt's partner's pregnancy, Matt's zeroing of the marital joint account), the hearing-impaired Neelie finds "I had not only been deaf, I had also been blind." Faced with losing her house and barn, Neelie jumps aboard Matt's mission to Zimbabwe to rescue two wounded elephants, thinking the transatlantic journey will convince him to recommit to the marriage. There, she finds behemoths in need of care—and the philanthropist who's funding the trip. The secondaries lack texture, but Neelie's misguided struggle rings true. (July)