The sleepy village of Bimbulla, Australia is a microcosm of various environmental conflicts. Locals are taking sides over whether to protect a penguin colony from marauding dogs and encroaching human development; the mayor is seen as too much of a crusading environmentalist and there is conflict in the graveyard, between those who want it to be a scene of carefully manicured lawns or a haven for wildflowers. Through all of this Digby Stuart and his colleagues conduct long running investigations into the populations of wandering albatrosses that visit the area.
This is a novel of dramatic weather and seascapes. At the same time it paints the characters in realistic grey tones, allowing them to be complex in their motivations and refusing to supply easy solutions to any of the conflicts between the characters. Personally I would have liked a bit more resolution to some of the storylines, even though its lack is realistic.
Whitecap by James Woodford published by Text Publishing.
Meanwhile I've got a new poem up on the Leaveners' Poets Corner!