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In 1999, a year after the Quebec Ice Storm, an animal communicator named Skye and her daughter come to live at Holdout Bay on Isle-Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Together, they manage a horse refuge known as the Institute of Nature Communications, unaware that a landslide is about to reclaim the entire Bay area. When a powerful businessman discovers that a former mare of his with a rare breeding gene is living at the Institute, he enlists the services of his shady assistant, Volpone, to kidnap her. Volpone’s vicious assault on Skye nearly fails as the horses and a young woman try to save her. Ground Manners pits the abuse and slaughter of horses by those who unthinkingly discard them against the efforts of others devoted to their rescue. Overall, it features love whose greatest gift is to ultimately restore wholeness to all creatures. At its core, Ground Manners is a meditation on man’s alienation from the earth and all its inhabitants, and the earth’s estrangement from a land mammal who continues to consume without regard for the consequences to future generations.

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