Monday 12 April 2021

The Breaking

The Breaking by Irma Gold (Midnight Sun) ISBN 9781925227819 RRP $29.99

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Hannah meets Deven in a hotel in Thailand: both young women are running away from family for quite different reasons. Deven is extremely focused and worldly, while Hannah is still finding her feet in life, and in Thailand. Focused on the dreadful treatment of elephants Deven encourages Hannah to take up an opportunity to volunteer at an elephant rescue centre. Here they work hard to assist locals rehabilitate sick and tortured elephants. After the death of a rescued elephant, Deven wants to escape, moving to a rescue location that is focused on training owners and handlers in a remote location. This work becomes even more intense.

 The girls have a short break in the capital overwhelmed with the crowds of tourists and the tawdry businesses set up to cater for their perceived needs. Hannah has come to meet an ex-boyfriend, but her feelings are mixed as she finds herself torn between her past and her present strong attachment to Deven.

Once their passion has been expressed, Deven once again seeks escape to a remote resort. While they enjoy certain relaxation with a work and pleasure routine, once again Deven finds elephant torture in the local area too difficult to ignore. 

This is an immensely powerful book exposing the cruel treatment of elephants, a profitable industry that is feed by the tourism industry. Throughout the book the developing relationship of the young women as they work together is carefully described. Although Deven appears to be strong and educated in Thai customs and language, she is also highly emotional. Hannah transforms from her na├»ve self to a decision-maker. Their strong emotional and physical relationship provides her with a new maturity. Vivid but disturbing the story combines a powerful expose with one women’s journey to maturity and a character driven by passionate activism. This book is recommended for readers 16 years plus as it contains scenes of animal torture and sexual references. 

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