Donna Mulvenna – Book review To Follow Elephants by Rick Hodges

Profile Donna Mulvenna LE Mag Sept 2019

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Donna Mulvenna of Stormbird Press travels to Africa with author Rick Hodges and his new novel To Follow Elephants, his stunning debut which explores the wonder and mystery of elephant culture.

To Follow Elephants switches among its main characters to build a breath taking journey involving a young elephant, a teenager traveling to Kenya to look for his imprisoned father, and a young Kenyan woman studying wild elephants. As a young bull elephant learns the ways of the world from his herd’s matriarch, a corrupt, conniving prison warden attempts to break a U.S. soldier accused of helping a local rebellion. But could an old bull elephant’s nightly visit to the soldier’s prison cell window save him?

To Follow Elephants left me longing to visit Africa where wild elephants, among other wildlife, freely migrate “and the grasslands that covered half the surface of Africa turned green again, multitudes of animals migrated to feed on the great swaths—blue wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos with legs powerful enough to travel long distances, each with a stomach, or stomachs, evolved to wring nutrition from the fibrous leaves filling their huge bellies. When the grass was reduced to a mere shadow on the earth, the largest mammal migration in the world thundered on, but not before depositing a mountain of dung that fed the grass as payment for its bounty.”

To Follow Elephants is moving portrayal of elephant civilization that masterfully enriches our understanding of what it means to be human.

Available at Stormbird Press

To Follow Elephants by Rick Hodges

Rick Hodges is a writer and author whose published works include short stories, stage plays and magazine copy. He has enjoyed a 30-year professional career as a journalist.

Donna Mulvenna is a nature enthusiast, who when not tending to her food forest or canoeing along one of the world’s wild rivers is reading from her hammock. A Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers, Donna’s own writing has been published in various newspapers, magazines and online publications.

© Donna Mulvenna