Vesper Flights

Helen Macdonald. Grove, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2881-2
English naturalist Macdonald (H Is for Hawk) offers meditations on the natural world and its inhabitants in an inviting collection of 41 new and previously published essays that are infused with wonder, nostalgia, and melancholy. Macdonald ruminates on the pleasures of watching animals in “Wicken,” and recalls encounters with fierce creatures in “Nothing Like a Pig,” about wild boars, and in “Hares,” about boxing hares—“magical harbingers of spring” that are increasingly rare in Britain. She reflects on her childhood in “Nests,” in which she recalls collecting detritus like seeds and pinecones, and in “Tekels Park,” about roaming a meadow in the 1970s that’s since been sold to developers. Her appreciation of birds is displayed in essays including “A Cuckoo in the House,” which details how cuckoos trick other birds into sheltering them, and the title essay, about the flight patterns of “magical” swifts. The message throughout is clear: the world humans enjoy today may not be around tomorrow, so it should not be taken for granted. This will inspire readers to get outside. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/23/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-7352-3550-2
Open Ebook - 978-0-8021-4669-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-7050-0036-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-8021-5867-3
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-8486-4
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