Dark Skies: A Journey into the Wild Night

Tiffany Francis. Bloomsbury Wildlife, $24 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4729-6459-5
This lovely work by Francis (Food You Can Forage) offers musings and observations about nature and nighttime, gathered at her home in England’s rural South Downs area and elsewhere in Europe. The narrative, loosely arranged around events in Francis’s life, begins soon after the author, a 20-something at this point, breaks up with her boyfriend. Sleeping alone again brings thoughts of her tendency to talk in her sleep, and of the ancient human practice of having two periods of sleep in a night. Seeking distraction from her romantic troubles, Francis embarks on trips to Norway, where she observes the aurora borealis; Germany, where she visits the Black Forest; and Finland, where she enjoys a night swim in the Baltic Sea. Nature is a constant source of solace, with forests, hills, rivers, and moors filling these pages (“to stand in a meadow and feel bees brush against the hairs on your arms, to smell wild roses and listen to the skylark ascending into the ether—that is sublime”) and the nocturnal theme leads to reflections on light pollution’s environmental effects. Francis’s beautiful prose and infectious joie de vivre will delight readers of this charming blend of memoir, travelogue, and nature writing. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 11/08/2019
Release date: 11/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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