Maelle, a young botanist, believes plants communicate and nurture their own offspring. Orphaned at 10, she grows up on her grandparents’ Northern Californian commune, imbibing their utopian beliefs of love for all. Her grandparents, Neil and Johanna, founded the commune as Vietnam War resisters. When filmmaker Pamela arrives, asking questions about “what became of the hippies,” Johanna dreads the uncovering of the commune’s secrets. Maelle, who had been told her mother died in an accident, is devastated to learn from her new lover Zachary that her mother and his father died together in his father’s medical research lab.As the filming unearths the commune’s not-so-utopian past, Maelle investigates further. What she discovers forces her to challenge all she believes and to confront the question, why don’t human parents do everything in their power to protect their own children?
Targeted Age Group:: 25-70
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I became interested in the abilities of plants when I read the books of Michael Pollan. Plants are so amazing I wondered why we think animals are more important.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I invented my character Maelle, a botanist, because I wanted to learn more about what plants can do, and loved doing the research! I am also interested in organic farming, and so created Maelle's grandmother, Johanna, who guides the commune to become a working farm over the years. Not everyone likes what happens to animals on that farm, including Maelle's mother, Angela, who becomes an animal rights activist. Or did something else motivate her? What the characters had to do, had to sacrifice, to achieve their dream became the through story of the book.
Her heart started beating wildly, her breath came fast. How insane to try to talk to him without witnesses. What was she thinking? Maybe she should regard this trip as a trial run, come back when the lab would be completely empty and dark, then release the animals on her own, quietly. She shivered.
She leant against a tree, breathing deeply to slow her thoughts. What she wanted to achieve. The obstacles. The threats. Even if she was arrested, the publicity would be good for the cause of the animals. But her career? She could not be caught. She could not go to jail. What about Maelle? What would happen to her? The girl needed her mother.
Angela must consider this carefully, weigh the moral imperatives. She resisted a violent urge to ping a pebble against the window in frustration.
It came to her. She must face him.
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