The White Bone
All Books are second hand
The story itself is an old one told through new eyes. Our protagonist is Mud, a young female elephant coming of age in a changing landscape. Mud, who is entering adulthood, is hesitant to embrace the pseudo-matriarchal structure of her herd. While it is the females who ostensibly direct the families, they must remain submissive to the roaming males and their sexual desires. As Mud attracts the attention of Tall Time, a unique young male with the special gift of reading omens and signs, the story vacillates between Mud’s maturation, her hesitance to accept her impregnation by Tall Time, and her family’s attempt to survive a severe drought. Meanwhile, there is the impending threat of violent death at the hands of humans seeking valuable ivory from the elephant tusks. As the novel progresses, Gowdy introduces the concept of the titular White Bone, a remnant of a baby elephant’s rib that, if found, will point the struggling survivors to safety. Thus, Mud’s bildungsroman transforms into a quest narrative as the elephants journey in search of peace.