For Mature YA & Adults, a quirky novel about a hurricane, two rich eccentrics, Allyson & Igor who are sailing around the world are marooned in a swampy canal next to a trailer park in Florida. The sly leader of the park thinks he is hooking up with a college senior, but she is a HS senior, & then there is her mother a teacher--& an escort. Plus a stripper, some bikers, Cubans, and assorted misfits More
In a nearly forgotten trailer Park on the Gulf Coast of Florida, a cashiered Iraq war hero, Brody, struggles to help the unlikely and mostly unlucky residents even as he strives to find love and some peace. Nearby is an elephant rehab park, run by two women who are partners, operating it with virtually no money. Roxy, who has a poetry degree, is even a stripper at a roadside dive to help support them and their four old circus elephants.
Brody’s struggle intensifies when the owners tell him they are shutting the park down to make more money building beachfront condos, and he isn’t allowed to tell anyone. The park is inhabited by some bikers, single parents desperately making ends meet while raising children, some couples that have lost the American Dream, a few lucky retirees with pensions, engineers and technical people, a lot of mostly ignored teens and kids, even a group of New York City Jews. Things get even worse when a huge hurricane runs right over them, wrecking half the park. One of the women of the elephant park and an elephant are lost, leaving Roxy to care for the place with no money.
Meanwhile, Brody has finally found happiness with Tomsin, a college student with a big secret. In the Prologue, we find a luxury yacht marooned in an old canal next to the park after a hurricane. Independently wealthy, Igor & Allyson are famous for a novel they wrote. They are casually sailing around the world, their son safely in Paris with Nadine, a lover to them both. Their stories are explained in a first novel, Running From the Paranoids, 2004, available in print. The second book in a series, Elephant Park also stands alone.
Both of them decide to stay a while under the guise of being shipwrecked, but they have found something curious and worthwhile to do in helping rescue the park and its people. Igor grew up with a biologist mother, and is very familiar with elephants from his time in Thailand with her. He is an eccentric, gleefully so, sometimes talking of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as a way of life, and it is Allyson, a stunning Swedish beauty and actress, who keeps him grounded.
Quietly, and with Brody’s subtle leadership, and the help of a few oddly educated bikers who are construction workers, a miscreant NY engineer named Michaelmas, a Italian contractor, and some drifting Cuban field workers they get the Elephant Park back on its feet. They rescue the trailer park people from an evangelical church where they seek refuge from the storm, and gradually make life tolerable again in the ruined park. FEMA nor anyone else helps them, just Igor’s money, given mostly anonymously.
Not everyone returns after the wreckage, some parents leave their kids behind, new families and supports are created in the wreckage of the park. Tomsin’s mother, a raving beauty in her own right, is deeply involved, as she is both a biology teacher and a private jet host with a keen business sense and an ability with languages— and another hidden secret. Two of the abandoned teens go to live with Roxy in her refurbished house and work with the elephants, creating another odd family
But they are left with a dilemma: the park must be vacated, what is left of it. Allyson comes up with the simple idea of relocating the trailer park to the elephant land, which is abundant, and paying Roxy rent to make her solvent. Brody turns out to be quite a Robin Hood character, and decides to steal the good trailers left, and move them to elephant land. But how? Easy, says Igor, the elephants will haul them. The owners are left to believe the storm has destroyed everything, which delights them, saving them trouble. We learn a bit of Brody’s tactics in Iraq, and his Robin Hood activities there too.