Elephant Winter is full of hushed wonders and harsher realities. When 30-year-old Sophie Walker returns to Canada to be with her dying 49-year-old mother, she thinks her stay will be temporary. While the two "settle into the daily business of waiting," she is drawn to her unlikely neighbors, the keeper of the Ontario Safari and his five elephants. Soon enough, in fact, Sophie falls for both Jo and his charges, and decides to record and explore elephant language and mores. Even in captivity, Sophie finds, these creatures strive for the greatest happiness and good for all, a far cry from the individualism of humans.
I really enjoyed the quiet unfolding of this book and the way the peace of the animals contrasted with the fear of living and dying.