Suzie Gilbert's Debut Novel, Unflappable, Takes Readers on a Wild Road Trip
"Thrilling," "fast-paced, crisp, smart," like Thelma and Louise…with a homicidal bald eagle
A laugh-out-loud and suspenseful road trip, Unflappable has been described as Carl Hiaasen meets Thelma and Louise. It's about grappling with the past and escaping the ties that bind you, and Gilbert hopes this story of liberation will resonate with readers.
"There are all kinds of cages, whether you're human or animal," she explains. "In the beginning, Luna is trapped by her marriage, her past, and her inability to communicate her emotions. This 2,300-mile odyssey frees her in all kinds of ways."
Gilbert's first foray into fiction illuminates the true-to-life, cross-country network of nature lovers licensed to care for injured and orphaned wildlife. "The wildlife rehabilitator connection is real," explains Gilbert, a bird rehabber herself. "We're all connected through the internet. We swap information and make each other laugh when things go very wrong.
"I wanted to show our strange world - the work, the cost, the emotional toll. But I also wanted to share the joy we feel when we help an injured animal come back to life, and the mind-boggling lengths to which we will go to support each other."
In fact, Gilbert had to draw on her own network to write Unflappable. "I only rehab birds, so I had to do research and call my mammal rehabber friends. I didn't know the set up required for a black bear, or how high a Florida panther can actually jump."
Gilbert, author of two other books—her memoir, Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings (HarperCollins)
Early Praise for Unflappable
"No writer captures the wild and reverent soul of wildlife rehabilitators like Suzie Gilbert...A thrilling tale of heedless, consuming, undeterred love."—Mike Bergin, founder of 10,000 Birds
"Up there with the best of Carl Hiaasen and in lots of ways similar in style and humor. It's a perfect tonic for quarantined, bored, depressed wildlife lovers—and for anyone who appreciates good, crisp story telling."—Ted Williams, winner of Outdoor Writers Association of America's top conservation award
Page Updated Last on: Apr 05, 2020