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Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

I came across Marrow Island on somebody’s list of best books of 2016. I read a brief description of the book and was drawn to the unusual premise.

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Imagine an earthquake in the Pacific Northwest destroys an oil refinery on a remote island, causing really bad environmental damage and leaving the island uninhabitable. The narrator of Marrow Island lost her father during this imaginary earthquake – he was working at the refinery. Now imagine a group of radical environmentalist idealists who populate the island with the idea of cleaning it up using mycelium – mushrooms. Now imagine the narrator is a journalist and her childhood friend lives at the commune. That is the premise for Alexis M. Smith’s novel, Marrow Island.

This novel must have been inspired in part by Paul Stamuts book, Mycelium Running: How mushrooms can help save the world. The idea of mycoremediation is fascinating and Alexis Smith did a great job of presenting a mycoremediation scenerio in her fictional commune.

I liked the story, the narrative voice and the pace of this novel. Regular visitors to this blog know I’m interested in mushrooms and perhaps this special interest helped me identify with what the people at the Marrow Colony were trying to do.


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