The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay


I went into this novel completely blind and was thoroughly impressed by what I found. McKay has created something quite original with this novel, one that tells the story of Jean Bennett: a smoking, drinking, zookeeping grandma with a cutting sense of humour. As a flu that enables people to communicate with animals spreads across Australia, Jean must cross the country to find her son and granddaughter as chaos engulfs the nation. This is an ambitious novel with a palpable atmosphere that oozes from its many-specied cast of characters. Darkly funny at times, perplexing at others, this novel is a reading experience you won't soon forget. I promise you will never look at whales the same way. - Ben