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Dark's Tale: 02/27/12
Dark's Tale by Deborah Grabien is a middle grade story of a black cat trying to learn how to live on her own in Golden Gate Park. She had originally been a beloved pet but the new baby is allergic to cats and so the cat is dumped in the park.
Dark has to learn who the friends and the foes are including trustworthy and non-trustworthy humans. All the while there is a coyote problem, something unheard of in decades in San Francisco. Because it's so hard to believe that coyotes could be in such a crowded city there's no action to find them. Dark and all the other animals are their potential prey.
I remember the coyotes finally making the news a few years back. It happened in our second or third year of living in the Bay Area. I know the areas described in the book. I love cats. I've worked with strays. I should have loved the book.
But I didn't. The pacing was off. Everything is described from Dark's point of view and commonplace things are given other names — descriptive names made up of other commonplace words. It's cute at first but ultimately all these descriptive names get in the way of the story.
For a similar but more coherent story try The Cats of Roxville Station by Jean Craighead George.