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The last wild horses : a novel
2022
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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Like Lunde's The History of Bees, her stellar latest hinges on a threatened species, this time the takhi, a rare ancient breed of horses. In 1880 St. Petersburg, a colleague brings zoologist Mikhail Kovrov the skull and hide of what looks like a takhi, which is believed to be extinct. Kovrov leaves his comfortable urban life to travel with animal-capture expert Wilhelm Wolff to Mongolia, where the remains were found, with a plan to bring living takhis to Europe to preserve their bloodline. Though they succeed in capturing the horses, Kovrov's time with the passionate, fearless Wolff throws his beliefs about his identity and future into crisis. A century later, German veterinarian Karin realizes her longtime dream of flying a group of European-born takhis back to Mongolia to reestablish them in the wild. Joining her on the expedition is her son, Mathias, a heroin addict in unsteady recovery who hopes to win the love his mother has never seemed able to express. In 2064 Norway, Eve and her teenage daughter, Isa, inhabit the dystopia caused by climate change. Isa wants to join migrants seeking a more sustainable habitat, while Eve is determined to stay at the family's defunct wild animal park to take care of its takhi, one of the world's last, and her foal. Each of the segments are brilliantly complex, and they conclude with satisfying revelations. Throughout, Lunde delivers a perfect blend of gripping human stories, historical and scientific fact, and speculative elements. This standout should win her wider attention in the U.S. (Feb.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Annotations

"Mikhail lives in Russia in 1881. When a skeleton of a rare wild horse is brought to him, the zoologist plans an expedition to Mongolia to find the fabled Przewalski horse...In 1992, Karin, alongside her troubled son Mathias and several Przewalski horses, travels to Mongolia to re-introduce the magnificent horses to their native land...Europe's future is uncertain in 2064, but Eva is willing to sacrifice nearly everything to hold onto her family's farm"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A novel set both in the distant past and the dystopian future explores extinction and survival, family and hope. - (Baker & Taylor)

Translated into 40 languages, winner of the Norwegian Bookseller’s Prize, and the most successful Norwegian author of her generation, Maja Lunde returns with a heart-wrenching tale, set in the distant past and the dystopian future, about extinction and survival, family and hope.

Mikhail lives in Russia in 1881. When a skeleton of a rare wild horse is brought to him, the zoologist plans an expedition to Mongolia to find the fabled Przewalski horse, a journey that tests not only his physicality, but his heart.In 1992, Karin, alongside her troubled son Mathias and several Przewalski horses, travels to Mongolia to re-introduce the magnificent horses to their native land. The veterinarian has dedicated her life to saving the breed from extinction, prioritizing the wild horses, even over her own son. 

Europe’s future is uncertain in 2064, but Eva is willing to sacrifice nearly everything to hold onto her family’s farm. Her teenage daughter implores Eva to leave the farm and Norway, but a pregnant wild mare Eva is tending is about to foal. Then, a young woman named Louise unexpectedly arrives on the farm, with mysterious intentions that will either bring them all together, or devastate them one by one.

Spanning continents and centuries, The Last Wild Horses is a powerful tale of survival and connection—of humans, animals, and the indestructible bonds that unite us all. 

Translated from the Norwegian by Diane Oatley

- (HARPERCOLL)

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