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Fiction Review   

Crazy Love
By David Martin
Simon and Schuster, 2002
Hardbound $23.00 (284p)
ISBN: 0-7432-2350-0

Crazy Love is charming. Equal parts love story and fairy tale, David Martin has created an appealing world filled with complex characters.

Katherine Renault has moved into her fiancé’s cabin to recover after a lengthy illness. As a career woman, she hasn't spent much time in the Appalachians, but seeks company when she tires of the thoughts in her own mind. The ladies at the local library, learning of her involvement with animal rights' activists after college, encourage her to volunteer with the local animal rescuers. The farmers unaccustomed to being told how to treat their livestock, resent her intrusions.

One day, while investigating a complaint, Katherine meets a man willing to help her. "Bear" (a.k.a. Joseph Long) is a tall, awkward man. Considered "slow" by the locals and mistreated as a child, he's lived alone on the family farm since his father's death. He has a gift for communicating with and caring for animals, his only companions. 

Bear's abilities in husbandry make him the perfect ally for Katherine's missions. Both outsiders to the community, they compliment each other as partners. Bear is delighted by "Katie Dids" presence and Katie is fascinated with his innocence. The two fall in love, balancing domesticity with caring for their growing menagerie of mistreated animals. 

When a violent act of retaliation threatens Katie's sanity and Bear's calm, each learns the power of redemption. 

As a fairy tale for grown-ups, Crazy Love doesn't have "a happily ever after ending," yet, the ending is psychologically satisfying and brings the couple full-circle. 

David Martin, the author of ten novels including Lie to Me and The Crying Heart Tattoo, lives on small farm in Tennessee.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


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