Lichenwald is the newest “mushroom thriller” from Ellen King Rice. This science-based adventure delves into the vibrant diversity of the Pacific Northwest with a story of the power in lichens and their relationships.
At the edge of exhaustion, lichenologist Zinnie Fazail struggles to maintain a professional life as her mother descends into dementia. Ursula Fazail insists on wandering the neighborhood, looking for a vaguely remembered blue mushroom while lapsing into the language of her childhood.
Zinnie is desperate for a home assistant who can keep up with her mother’s excursions. When May Belle Pope moves in with promises to “Take care of things,” Zinnie learns that Evil can be a roommate with small barking dogs.
As Ursula bonds with a blind Cocker Spaniel, Zinnie realizes May Belle will exploit any situation to her advantage. Zinnie has to act before hearts and bodies are broken, especially once May Belle has access to the home computer and family accounts.
How can Zinnie protect her mother and her home when what she knows are lichens?
Lichenwald includes illustrations of local lichens by Olympia artist Duncan Sheffels.
Part adventure, part science class, and totally fungi and lichen friendly, Lichenwald takes the reader into a place of friendships and intertwining ecosystems.