Zoo of Human Frailties is a study of family disintegration after the loss of one of its members as seen through the eyes of a young girl. The book opens as Lovetta’s father abandons her at an insane asylum in the years immediately preceding World War I. As we flash back to her experiences at home on the farm, we learn what has happened to make her disposable. All of the things she lives through, abuse, archaic medication, primitive surgery, neglect, hunger, Spanish flu, all cause her to find the strength to escape and find the only family she has left.
My Review: This is an exceptionally well-written story that is deeply moving. The narrator, Lovetta tells her story alternating between her time in the asylum and the events which led to her being admitted chapter by chapter in a manner that keeps the reader completely entranced.
The first world war provides the backdrop for this story and events are uncovered which provide evidence of a great deal of research by the author. It’s the kind of writing that leaves a lasting impression. Even without the backdrop, Lovetta’s story is so deeply moving on so many different levels that there is no way one will come away from reading this work without being affected in some way or other. I experienced a multitude of emotions.
The only things I would change in this book are the title, book cover, and the first part of the synopsis. I understand why the title and book cover may have been chosen. As for the synopsis referring to the work as a study… Due to the nature of being drawn into analysing everything, I get that too, but I would not refer to it as a study. Having said that, I have given five stars regardless because I could see this work being dramatised into either a historical fictional movie or a wonderful 6 part historical drama/suspense series.