Karen Rispin tackles an issue I've never before seen in Christian literature - the problem of humans not taking care of God's creation. She puts them part and parcel on a level together. That animals are just as important as people - at least that is how I interpreted it. So that basically makes up the plot of this book. A theme that is reiterated time and time again - annoyingly so.
The female protagonist's relationship (or lack of) with the male protagonist is weird - to say the least. They are attracted, they want to be a couple, they can't be together, but they want to be together. So the tug-of-war proceeds throughout the entire book until the end.
Additionally, the way characters respond to one another is quite unbelievable and cheesy. I didn't believe in the story - or the couple themselves. In fact, I didn't believe any of these characters existed (which is something you should feel when you are reading great literature).
In short, strange Girl goes to Africa and serendipitously meets Boy en-route. Boy likes Girl and Girl likes boy, but there are many pointless underlying issues that keep them apart. Girl studies baboons, tries to change the way the community views animals, gets beat up and thrown in a snake den by Mean Boss, and finally comes to a realization of her love for Boy. Boy rescues Girl and gets rid of Mean Boss. Boy and Girl get married. THE END.
I cannot put my finger on what exactly turned me off about the book, but I just didn't like the way it was written. I thought I was settling in for an adventure in Africa. It was more like an animal rights activist's fight for animal rights in Africa and her struggle to let this nice guy love her. I don't want to be negative, but I found myself struggling not to skim through the book (from the very beginning). I was very disappointed, because the book had such great reviews.
I feel like the writing was underdeveloped and just... strange. If you don't believe me, rent before you buy. Better yet, skim through it.