By Deb Rogers
For fans of Kevin Wilson and Karen Russell, a gleefully strange and sinister debut novel about one woman’s summer working at a Floridian wildlife refuge for exotic monkeys.
Jamie is a Florida Woman. She wears cut-offs, thrives in humidity, has been slapped by palm frond more times than she can count, and now, after going viral for an outrageous crime she never meant to commit in the first place, she has the requisite headline to her name. So when the chance comes for her to escape viral infamy and impending jail time through a community service placement at Atlas, a wildlife refuge for exotic monkeys, it seems like just the fresh start Jamie needs to finally get her life back on track — until it’s not.
Something sinister stirs in the palmetto woods, and secrets lurk among the three beguiling women who run the refuge and affectionately take Jamie under their wing for the summer. She hears the distant screams of monkeys each night, the staff forgo food in the name of sacrifice, and the land, which has long been abandoned by indigenous farmers and Disney developers, now proves to be dangerously, relentlessly untamed.
As Jamie ventures deeper into the offbeat world and rituals of Atlas, her summer is soon set to become material for an even stranger Florida headline than she ever could’ve imagined.