What can animals tell us about God? Do animals have souls? The prolific Hunt (author of more than 100 books) offers a compelling story that asks both questions. Sema is a 250-pound western lowland gorilla referred to as “my girl” by 30-year-old Glee Granger, who has raised Sema from a newborn at her home away from the zoo. Glee teaches Sema sign language and hopes to show her how to read, proving that gorillas can assimilate abstract concepts and use their imaginations. Sema’s talents cause the director of the Thousand Oaks Zoo in Clearwater, Fla., to demand her return so he can exploit her abilities to help fund zoo projects. Helping Sema’s assimilation into the gorilla habitat is “by-the-book” Brad Fielding, a potential romantic interest for Glee. Hunt knows how to craft believable, interesting characters, and readers will find themselves drawn to the lovable Sema, the conflicted Glee and Glee’s scripture-spouting “Nana,” the proprietor of a Florida motel. The tension accelerates after a near-death trauma, when Sema begins signing to the nonreligious Glee about a “shiny man” who offers insights about God. Hunt handles this unusual and potentially touchy plot development adeptly. The ending may seem abrupt, but the Christy Award–winning Hunt will please many of her faith fiction fans as well as animal lovers with this poignant tale.
I have to tell you Unspoken was not on the top of my reading list but when
my friend insisted I read it, I am so glad I did! Unspoken is by far the
most wonderful book I have read in a long time. I have since bought it and
recommended it to my friends. So far everyone I have recommended it to have
loved it! Thank you so much for writing it! –Cheryl
I loved UNSPOKEN! After not even being able to finish THE AWAKENING I was afraid Angela Hunt was done with giving us wonderful refreshing stories but she has redeemed herself with Sema’s story. I couldn’t put the book down at all and loved the way Sema was so much like a real person. I learned a great deal while being thoroughly entertained. Thanks Angela and make sure the next one is as good! (Amazon)
I won’t say any more about the plot. You will have to read this book for yourself. Suffice it to say that talking to the animals is not a one-way street. Sometimes you have to listen to them too, even if what they say sounds pretty bizarre, like, say, talking about God. So, is Glee listening? Is the gorilla a little psychotic? Or is she on to something astounding? This is an intriguing subject and I wish author Hunt had done a better job with it. The book is over-written, with pages of breathless emotion and enough sentimentality to drown a horse (or gorilla). Glee is an unlikeable, self-centered, arrogant and touchy individual. The other characters are equally one-dimensional. Although the author has obviously done a lot of research on gorillas, the animals in this book are not quite believable. Well, that’s just my opinion. If you like reading about talking gorillas, like Koko, or if you want to get a (fictional) gorilla’s insights on spirituality, this might be just the book for you. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber. (Amazon)
Angie here again: Well–I liked Glee just fine, but maybe I see myself in her. 🙂 And I think the above is the first time I have ever been accused of being sentimental!
But there you have it. The good, the bad, and the opinionated. 🙂
Tomorrow–your questions and answers. If you have any questions at all, leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them.