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Nature Girl    by Carl Hiaasen order for
Nature Girl
by Carl Hiaasen
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Carl Hiaasen never disappoints. His latest book, Nature Girl, is another glorious frolic through the Florida Everglades with as whacky an accumulation of characters as have ever been gathered together. Each has their own purpose for being there but wouldn't have been there if it weren't for at least one of the others.

Honey Santana, offended by telemarketing phone calls at dinner time, plans revenge. The problem with this is that she doesn't really have complete control of her actions hearing two songs playing simultaneously in her head tends to throw her off. Her twelve-year old son Fry keeps a close eye on her as does his father Perry, but both manage to slip up on this one.

Honey's ex-employer Piejack pays for his groping of Honey's breast in ways he never imagined. Sammy Tigertail is trying to find his Seminole self, and a young coed whom Sammy takes hostage finds Sammy to her liking.

The plot is convoluted, following many paths, but all paths lead to the climax, which must have taken some doing on the author's part. Hiaasen has a sense of humor that is delightful and a sense of fun that makes his books treasures to read.

Hiaasen also has an agenda. While laughing out loud at the shenanigans of his characters, the reader also becomes aware of the message Hiaasen is slipping into each of his books. We must protect our environment before it's too late. Florida is a good example of the havoc that is wrought by the excessive building craze and the plunder of the wetlands in the name of greed.

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