The Oregon Experiment
Knopf, Jun 17 2011, $26.95
Scanlon and Naomi Pratt changes coasts when they leave big city New York for small town Douglas, Oregon as he has a position as a professional mass movements especially radicalism. She had been a professional “nose” helping create perfumes until a car accident destroyed her gifted olfactory sense.
Three things occur after arriving in the Pacific Northwest that shakes up the Scanlon adjustment equilibrium. Naomi gives birth to their first child. Second she wakes up to the smell of mint as her nose is back. Finally Scanlon meets two radical locals at the Pacific Northwest Secessionist Movement, Clay and Sequoia. The former will turn the Pratt family life into a nightmare with his desires; while the latter will have Scanlon wanting her.
This is a great character driven profound look at idealism when a person confronts difficult to accept compromises that impact one’s values yet are pragmatic and for the larger populace fair as Keith Scribner turns Ayn Rand upside down and the Tea Party into coffee drinkers. The Oregon Experiment is a thought provoking tale as readers will ponder when concessions for the better good are acceptable.