cover image Fog Island Mountains

Fog Island Mountains

Michelle Bailat-Jones, read by Jennifer Ikeda. Tantor Audio, unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $37.99 ISBN 978-1-4945-0318-5

Voice actor Ikeda's elegant and gracious voice perfectly compliments the style of Bailat-Jones's debut novel, which draws its inspiration from kitsune (fox or spirit fox) in Japanese folklore. Alec Chester, a South African expat, and his wife, Kanae, are living an ordinary life in Komachi, a town situated near their Japanese island's volcanic mountains, when Alec learns he is very ill. On the day of his surgery, Kanae disappears, wishing only to escape the truth of Alec's illness. She runs into a childhood friend and, impulsively, makes a terrible decision. Simultaneously, a dangerous typhoon menaces the island with pelting rain, strong wind, and falling tree limbs. In the midst of the typhoon, Alec slips out of the hospital, with his family suspecting he has left to commit suicide. Kanae takes her bike to search for him, "no longer running away from Alec but toward him." Ikeda's soothing voice and spare words quietly portray Kanae's intense turmoil throughout the story, reflecting that sometimes less is more. Nimble transitions are made between Alec's South African dialect, American English, and Japanese. Through her storytelling, the mysterious narrator%E2%80%94a folklorist and animal healer%E2%80%94reveals the fragility of life and displays bravery in the face of illness and the sometimes-selfish nature of love. A Tantor paperback. Digital Download: Audible Studios. (Nov.)