Holt, Apr 2001, 23.00, 275 pp.
Perhaps Annabel Mendelssohn was escaping the death of her older brother in a diving accident or suicide two years ago. Whatever the real reason is the Connecticut Yankee travels to James Cook University in Australia to do graduate fieldwork. Her subject is the behavioral patterns of spectacle fruit bats. Her only link home is e-mail with her sister.
Though mostly alone in the Rain Forest with her bats, Annabel finds herself attracted to the fiftyish professor John Goode even with hunks her own age nearby. When John suddenly vanishes, Annabel becomes concerned for him. John's son Leon arrives from Boston in search of his missing father. When Leon and Annabel meet, negative electrons fly as each irritates the other. However, those negative electrons soon attract one another as they join forces in seeking John and in love.
FIELD GUIDE is a warm relationship drama that centers on science and family without losing a step in either forum. The story line is understated, which adds to the feel of being in the rain forest with Annabel who reflects on her own family woes. The ending is obvious, but no one will care because the plot is so well written and Annabel is quite the complete character who insures that the tale works. Gwendolen Gross guides her audience with this first rate story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner