Botánicos - a novel of magical realism by Alan Meerow

Botánicos - a novel of magical realism book advertising Alan Meerow

Garwell Sorrentino was a legendary tropical botanist with the Cincinnati Botanical Garden, and arguably the world’s expert on the rain forests of southeastern Peru. Twenty-five years ago, he was believed lost when an ultra-light craft that he was piloting alone above the unbroken forests of the Río Madre De Dios watershed caught fire and crashed. No trace of Sorrentino was ever found. His last graduate student and best friend, Anton Kovac, was fired in disgrace from his botanist position at the Garden five years after Sorrentino’s disappearance. Kevin Hobart, the Garden’s director, and both his and Sorrentino’s former boss, contacts Kovac out of the blue, with rumors that his friend is alive. Anton and Garwell’s widow, Nell, travel to southeastern Peru, in search of Sorrentino. Ultimately, the adventure is transformative for both of them.

The novel is at once a love story, a tale of friendship and the bonds that tie us together. It includes moments of magical realism, intimacy and mystery, all against the backdrop of the Amazon forest. Any adult who enjoys a solid tale, rich with characters with whom they can emphasize and a plot that keeps them turning the page, is the audience for "Botánicos." Of course, the biological science community, inclusive of all botanists, will want to read it as well. I think readers of Barbara Kingsolver's fiction, Richard Powers’ “The Overtory,” and Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things” will find this novel compelling. People who enjoy magical realism, lovers of nature and forests in particular will all be drawn to "Botánicos."