BOOKS: Animal Husbandry

A novel interlaces three stories of woman and beast

Though weakening, the primal links between humans and wild animals are not yet entirely dissolved. In The Great Divorce (Doubleday; 340 pages; $22.50), novelist Valerie Martin weaves together three narratives to explore those connections. Ellen, the veterinarian for a New Orleans zoo, does not like the compromises she has to make. But, she understands, "that's the deal." She feels the hopelessness of preserving animals in "a netherworld of human scrutiny and intervention" by maintaining an ark for captive species that will never sleep freely under a night sky. In her marriage, she accepts her husband's infidelities. Finally, he has the one...

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