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Available copies

  • 1 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library WAL (Text) 33500013372560 New Checked out 04/29/2021
Detroit Lakes Public Library WAL (Text) 33500013372578 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781640094000
  • ISBN: 1640094008
  • Physical Description: 324 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: Berkeley, California : Counterpoint, 2021.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
"The Elephant of Belfast chronicles a seven-month period of time when the Germans unexpectedly bombed Belfast, Northern Ireland, also known as the Belfast Blitz. Through the lens of the Bellevue Zoo and one of its zookeepers, twenty-year-old Hettie Quin, the novel animates how the war irrevocably impacted-and shaped the lives of Belfast's citizens in broad and intimate ways. In October 1940, Hettie meets Violet, a three-year-old Asian elephant arriving at the Belfast docks from Ceylon. Soon, she becomes Violet's dedicated zookeeper at the Bellevue Zoo. At the same time, Hettie continues to experience the grief related to the recent loss of her beloved older sister, Anna, and the abandonment of her father, Thomas, who left her mother, Rose. On April 15th , 1941, Belfast is attacked for five hours, with 674 bombs falling, and almost a thousand civilians being killed. During the bombings and its aftermath, Hettie does all that she can to save her elephant, and survive the destruction and escalating sectarian unrest of the city. Even though Hettie is still only twenty years old by the novel's end, she's aged at least a decade, her life and perspective transforming in tragic and unexpected ways. Taken altogether, The Elephant of Belfast reflects a complicated portrait of loss, grief, love, and resilience, and how the zoo and the city of Belfast suffered during these catastrophic attacks. At the narrative's heart is a changing relationship between a young woman and an elephant: At first, it seems that Hettie saves Violet, but in the end, Violet saves her"-- Provided by publisher.
Reviews

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 March #2
    Still grieving the tragic death of her sister and her father's abandonment of her, Hettie Quin embraces her job at the Bellevue Zoo in 1940. With the war going on, Hettie is soon promoted to a full-time zookeeper—the first female to hold the job. While Hettie loves all the animals, her favorite is Violet, a recently arrived three-year-old elephant. Their bond is so strong that when the air-raid sirens go off, Hettie runs to the zoo instead of a bomb shelter. As the devastating German attacks continue, Hettie must decide how much she is willing to risk to protect Violet. Inspired by the true story of the "elephant angel" of Belfast, Walsh's debut is a stirring tale of grief, loss, and survival against the chaotic backdrop of the war and the IRA's actions. The unique setting of Belfast during WWII makes this book stand out, though Hettie's romantic entanglements threaten to make the very intelligent heroine seem foolish and vapid. Overall, fans of WWII fiction and historical fiction will enjoy this fresh take on the era, and it is recommended for all collections. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.
  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 March #2
    Still grieving the tragic death of her sister and her father's abandonment of her, Hettie Quin embraces her job at the Bellevue Zoo in 1940. With the war going on, Hettie is soon promoted to a full-time zookeeper—the first female to hold the job. While Hettie loves all the animals, her favorite is Violet, a recently arrived three-year-old elephant. Their bond is so strong that when the air-raid sirens go off, Hettie runs to the zoo instead of a bomb shelter. As the devastating German attacks continue, Hettie must decide how much she is willing to risk to protect Violet. Inspired by the true story of the "elephant angel" of Belfast, Walsh's debut is a stirring tale of grief, loss, and survival against the chaotic backdrop of the war and the IRA's actions. The unique setting of Belfast during WWII makes this book stand out, though Hettie's romantic entanglements threaten to make the very intelligent heroine seem foolish and vapid. Overall, fans of WWII fiction and historical fiction will enjoy this fresh take on the era, and it is recommended for all collections. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

S. Kirk Walsh is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has been widely published in The New York Times Book Review, Longreads, StoryQuarterly, and Electric Literature, among other publications. Over the years, she has been a resident at Ucross, Yaddo, Ragdale, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Walsh is the founder of Austin Bat Cave, a writing and tutoring center that provides free writing workshops for young writers throughout Austin.

Subject: Belfast (Northern Ireland) > History > Bombardment, 1941 > Fiction.
FICTION / Historical / World War II.
FICTION / Animals.
FICTION / Women.
Zoo keepers > Fiction.
Elephants > Fiction.
Human-animal relationships > Fiction.
Genre: Historical fiction.

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