Tag Archives: Memoirs

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Overview
When Breath Becomes Air: Kalanithi, Paul: 9781784701994: Books - Amazon.ca

Title: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Death, Medical, Memoirs
Dates read: 2nd – 13th October 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Vintage Books
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: The surgeon got to work, passed a small endoscope through Matthew’s nose, and drilled off the floor of his skull.

Synopsis

What do you do when life is catastrophically interrupted?
What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away? 8 What makes life worth living in the face of death

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student in search of what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and new father.

Thoughts

I knew that I was probably going to shed at least a few tears at the end of this book. I mean, it’s a book written by a man who is terminally ill. It’s going to make you cry. I didn’t quite expect how much I cried though. Partly because I didn’t think that it would be the epilogue written by Kalanithi’s wife that would really set me off… maybe not the best book to read when you’re pregnant and hormonal.

When Breath Becomes Air is incredibly humbling. It is filled with reminders that your world can change in a moment and everything you worked towards can just be ripped away. Yet, even though Paul was writing this in his final months and knew what was coming for him, he writes in such a way that you feel… at peace with his fate. Having been around numerous people with a terminal illness, reading about someone who faced their diagnosis head on like this… as I said, humbling.

The first part of this memoir focuses on Kalanithi’s decision to become a neuroscientist. About his constant battle to find a meaning in life where he isn’t entirely sure there is one. I love that he talks about his love for both literature and science. And how instead of being independent of each other (an assumption I’ve often come up against), they build upon one another. You can feel the passion for both fields streaming off the page as you read about Kalanithi’s numerous experiences and a life well lived.

This is one of those amazing memoirs that makes you feel… well, everything. It definitely left me feeling a little bit raw. But, mostly it just made me feel humble and aware of all of my own faults. But not in a bad way. I know that I couldn’t go through a terminal diagnosis like Kalanithi with the kind of calm and grace that he shows. And it’s kind of nice to read the words of someone who actually was capable of doing so.

<- Lab GirlIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) ->

Image source: Amazon

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Overview
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Title: Heart Berries
Author: Terese Marie Mailhot
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Memoirs, Mental health, Race
Dates read: 29th August – 4th September 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Counterpoint
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: You were still fucking me, though.

Synopsis

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, Terse Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father – an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist – who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Thoughts

For such a short book, this is incredibly difficult to read through. It took me quite a while. Mostly because the emotions and power of Mailhot’s words were unforgettable. Powerful and filled with such rawness that I frequently had to pause and look at another story.

Mailhot is able to address issues of mental health, abuse and transgenerational trauma in a completely unforgettable way. It is, in places, physically difficult to read about this. But it is also filled with a cautious feeling of optimistic hope.

Under all of the writing and experiences, Mailhot has this overwhelming love for her children. Love for her family. And love, ultimately for herself. There is that cautious optimism throughout, but there is also a great sense of overwhelming love and attachment to those in her life.

This is one of those books that MUST be read. I will probably read this half a dozen times and find something new in it that I just wasn’t expecting. The complexity and power of this writing will most definitely give you new insight with each and every new read.

<- The Answer to the Riddle is MeTwelve Patients ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Gap by Benjamin Gilmour

Overview
The Gap by Benjamin Gilmour - Penguin Books Australia

Title: The Gap
Author: Benjamin Gilmour
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Medical, Memoirs, Mental health
Dates read: 22nd – 25th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Viking
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: I lean down beside our patient and speak in a whisper so no one will hear.

Synopsis

Benjamin Gilmour has been a paramedic for more than twenty years. He has seen his fair share of drama. But the summer of 2008 remains etched in his memory for the very worst reasons.

In this riveting memoir, Gilmour recounts the call-outs that summer: some dangerous, some gruesome, some downright ridiculous. And we meet fellow paramedic John who, they say, can get a laugh out of everyone except the dead. As they city heats up, however, even John begins to lose his sense of humour. People are unravelling – and Benjamin and John are no exception.

The Gap is a vivid portrait of the lead-up to Christmas; an unflinching, no-holds-barred look at what happens after the triple-zero call is made – the drugs, nightclubs, brothels, drunk rich kids, billionaires, domestic disputes, the elderly, emergency births, even a kidnapping. Patients share their innermost feelings, and we witness their loneliness, their despair and their hopes. 88 BB Beautifully written and sharply observed, The Gap exposes the fragility of our lives and the lengths that paramedics will go to try to save us.

Thoughts

I honestly just bought this because I needed a book with an ambulance on the cover. I really didn’t expect this to be such an amazing emotional rollercoaster ride. It was just… words can’t describe. I just don’t have the words to describe what it felt like to read this book. There’s such a potent emotional ride that had me reading this story until late in the night. Bated breath and eyes burning.

I knew that being a paramedic is an incredibly mentally taxing career. I know a few people who work in the field and the mental toll that it can take on a person. But, Gilmour’s words add a whole other layer of context to this reality. It provides faces and personalities to an issue that we all know is there. Provides a face to the trials, tribulations and tragedies of paramedics and those working within the health sector. It also kind of broke my heart throughout as I read about the daily life and experiences of Benjamin and his partners.

The title didn’t really mean much to me at the beginning of this novel. I mean, cool, it’s called The Gap, but that meant literally nothing to my brain. Then I read the opening paragraphs – and the title began to make much more sense. Which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I mean, you knew some of this was going to be a tough read because it’s about a day in the life of a paramedic. When there is a spot that he is frequently called to that is known for suicides…it’s going to be a whole new kettle of fish and difficulties.

I’ve been on a good run of books lately. Read a few that, once I close the final page, I just lie there, staring at the ceiling. This was most definitely one of them. Although Gilmour deals with the very serious issues of mental health and wellbeing, there is humour and light throughout his words. Some incredibly difficult real world realities are faced up to, but they are paired off with some of the more ridiculous adventures of the paramedics. It shows you that whenever there is dark, you can also find some light.

<- CommittedTalking as Fast as I Can ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Things I Wish I’d Known edited by Victoria Young

Overview
Things I Wish I'd Known, Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood by Victoria  Young | 9781785780370 | Booktopia

Title: Things I Wish I’d Known
Author: Victoria Young
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Memoirs, Pregnancy
Dates read: 15th – 28th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Icon
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: And it is that now, I have finally come to love my breasts.

Synopsis

Things I Wish I’d Known sees some of the most brilliant writers reveal the truth of what it’s really like to be a mother.

Look inside many parenting books and what do you see? Advice about how to be a glowing mother-to-be and how to rear pristine, beautifully-behaved children. But the reality is, your pregnancy might be a sweaty, moody rollercoaster; your children and you will almost certainly spend the first few years of their lives covered in food, tears and worse, and you may spend the first few months of motherhood wondering where the heck your old life has vanished to. Not to say that the experience isn’t still magical, of course!

In this no-holds-barred collection of essays, prominent women, including Cathy Kelly, Adele Parks, Kathy Lette and Lucy Porter (and many more) explore the truth about becoming mothers. Packed with searingly honest writing about everything from labour to the Breastapo, twins to single parenthood, weaning to post-birth sex, Things I Wish I’d Known is a reassuring, moving and often hilarious collection that will speak to mothers – and mothers-to-be – everywhere.

Thoughts

I’m obviously feeling a little bit anxious about become a first time mum. I mean, I don’t really know someone who isn’t when they find out that they’re expecting for the first time. Which made this a seriously happy and comforting book to read. Rather than waxing on and off about how amazing motherhood is, this book is far more realistic.

Each chapter of this book is beautifully written. It deals with a multitude of realities and experiences. And, honestly, it just highlights the fact that every single parent, every single child, every single experience is different. Again, something that I found seriously comforting. I mean, it just shows that when all of your experiences are different, none of you is actually doing anything “wrong”.

Not only is this book serious in places and filled with information. It is also filled with humour. And the oddities of parenthood. It doesn’t stay stuck on ideas of what is proper, right or wrong. Rather, it focuses on a reality of… well, real life. Real life isn’t perfect and picturesque, but it is fun and worth doing. Which is the overarching message I got from this book.

I absolutely adored and devoured this book. It helped me feel a little more settled about what is to come, which, when you’re growing a human being, is kind of seriously helpful…

<- Bad GroundBlack Dragon River ->

Image source: Booktopia

The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

Overview
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris - Penguin Books Australia

Title: The Truths We Hold
Author: Kamala Harris
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Memoirs, Politics, Race
Dates read: 18th – 22nd August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: She cared a great deal about making our apartment a home, and it always felt warm and complete.

Synopsis

The extraordinary life story of one of America’s most inspiring political leaders.

The daughter of immigrants and civil rights activists, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris was raised in a California community that cared deeply about social justice. As she rose to prominence as a political leader, her experiences would become her guiding light as she grappled with an array of complex issues and learned to bring a voice to the voiceless.

Now, in The Truths We Hold, Harris reckons with the big challenges we face together. Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values as we confront the great work of our day.

Thoughts

The last few years I’ve been somewhat fascinated by American politics. After all, they inform our own in some of the worst ways possible (and I’m sure in some good ways, but still…). The fact that Kamala Harris is one of the first women to not only hold such a high office but is of mixed heritage… it was fascinating.

I really enjoyed this memoir. However, it did really read like a political dossier. Each chapter discusses a different political issue and fight. And, considering this was written and published before the election… it kind of makes sense that it’s a well written and engaging drive for election.

Unlike a lot of memoirs that I’ve read, this didn’t really follow a chronological order. As I mentioned, each chapter focuses on a different political and social fight. Harris is able to bring in her own past experiences and journeys to the different topics. That way, by the time you’ve finished her book you feel like you’ve had a good autobiographical overlay, even if it was a little out of order.

I really enjoyed Harris’ approachable tone of voice throughout this. She dealt with some very heavy topics that I didn’t necessarily want to delve too far into. But she did it in a way that you didn’t get bogged down in the politics and horrors that our world is facing… she managed to walk that line beautifully.

<- The Last Black UnicornThe Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps

Overview
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps | 9780751575231 | Booktopia

Title: This Will Only Hurt a Little
Author: Busy Philipps
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Memoirs, Mental health, Strong women
Dates read: 2nd – 11th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: sphere
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I promised I would call him as much as I could and write him every single day, and he promised to do the same.

Synopsis

Busy Philipps has always been headstrong, defiant and determined not to miss out on all the fun. These qualities led her to leave Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of nineteen to pursue her passion for acting in Hollywood. But, much like her painfully funny teenage years, chasing her dreams wasn’t always easy.

In this stunningly candid memoir, Busy opens up about chafing against a sexist system rife with on-set bullying and body shaming, being there when friends face shattering loss, enduring devastating betrayals and struggling with the challenges of motherhood.

But Busy also brings to the page her sly sense of humour and the unshakable sense that disappointment shouldn’t stand in her way. The rough patches in her life are tempered by hilarity and joy: leveraging a flawless impersonation of Cher from Clueless into her first paid acting gig, helping reinvent a genre with cult classic Freaks and Geeks, becoming fast friends with Dawson’s Creek castmate Michelle Williams, conquering natural child breath with the help of a II Mad Man II -themed hallucination and more.

Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability and sharp observations about life, love and motherhood.

Thoughts

I was expecting this to be kind of funny and very, very light-hearted. That is not the case. The story that Busy tells you about her life is kind of confronting and definitely heartbreaking in moments. But it is told with a sense of lightness that makes you feel… less uncomfortable.

I’ve not had much exposure to Busy Philipps beyond Cougar Town. Or at least, I didn’t think that I had. Turns out that she’s been involved in a few things I like, and now I need to go back and watch them. Particularly now that I know her story behind the moments in her acting career that I recognise. That even though I love her acting on screen, there is a whole story behind every moment that I was previously unaware of.

I can’t believe the amount of strength that would be required to deal with some of the crap that Busy has been through. I mean, I recognise some of it in my own life (I mean, we’re both women and there are just some horrors…). But I also don’t work in a field that is so damn focused on how we look and is just, frankly… toxic.

One of the things that really stuck out with me from this book was that Busy Philipps has consistently fought mental health. For her entire life. The different ways she’s tried to deal with it are intriguing and make for a very interesting memoir. It also drives home the fact that regardless of how bright and cheerful someone may appear on screen… there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. All in all, I could not put this novel down. It was brilliant and poignant. Nothing like what I expected and one of those impossible to forget kind of stories. I would definitely read this one again and again.

<- Rosa Parks: My StoryFollow the Rabbit-Proof Fence ->

Image source: Booktopia

Anna: A Teenager on the Run by Anna Podgajecki

Overview
Anna: A Teenager on the Run by Anna Podgajecki

Title: Anna: A Teenager on the Run
Author: Anna Podgajecki
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Memoirs, War
Dates read: 2nd February – 23rd April 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: eBook, Novel
Publisher: Amberly Publishing
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: The unfinished building had two giant windows facing the yard where the murderers were standing, but above me there was an attic.

Synopsis

Part of a new Holocaust remembrance series of important testimonies and memoirs from the unique collections of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre.

Anna Podgajecki was born in Korzec, on the Polish–Russian border. As life for the Jews became steadily worse, Anna’s parents insisted that she, the oldest of their seven children, try to escape, survive and report to the world on the atrocities that were taking place.

For three years Anna lived in constant fear of discovery. She wandered from place to place and found work as a translator, a housekeeper and finally a nurse on the Russian front. Through luck, good timing, personal charm, a talent for languages and her special beauty, she was able to avoid death.

Anna’s reflections on her escape and survival are both remarkable and touching, arousing our curiosity about the human instinct to survive, despite all odds.

Thoughts

This novel is fucking brutal and heartbreaking. In a way that I can’t even begin to describe. It is just…. Wow. Not for the faint of heart. And even difficult for people with a strong spine. It took me forever to get through because I could honestly read a maximum of three chapters in one hit before I started getting dragged into a really dark place. Which, honestly, is kind of exactly what this story should be doing. After all, it’s about the holocaust.

I’ve read a few stories about World War II and the holocaust. And even accounts of other wars. But this is most definitely the most brutal I’ve read. Other stories offer an almost sense of hope, and you can see where certain aspects of the tale are kind of glossed over. That is not the case with Anna’s writing (I can’t even use her last name like I do with many other reviews because of the honesty). Anna takes you right into the heart of her heartbreak and horror. And she leaves no stone unturned. There is zero glossing over and nothing, and I mean nothing, is hidden.

This tale doesn’t just talk about what Anna experienced to survive as a Jew in WWII, but it also talks of the aftermath. After all, even though the war was over and occupation ended, there were (and still are) many scars and divisions that were left behind. It took her a long time to be able to feel safe even admitting that she was a Jew – even though technically she could.

Even writing this review, I can feel that uncomfortable swelling in my chest that was my companion throughout this whole story. Reading a war memoir should never be comfortable. But the horrors that are recounted in this writing… I just don’t have the words.

<- UnmaskedGogo Mama ->

Image source: Goodreads

Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic

Overview
Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic - Penguin Books Australia

Title: Zlata’s Diary
Author: Zlata Filipovic
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Memoirs, War
Dates read: 25th – 26th March 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: We don’t think about the shelling or the war.

Synopsis

I’m trying to concentrate so that I can do my homework (reading) but I simply can’t. Something is going on in town. You can hear gunffire from the hills!

This entry in Zlata’s diary in April 1992 shows how the war draws relentlessly closer to her hom ein Sarajevo. When she starts her diary, Zlata tells of her normal, happy life with her family and friends. But soon they are fighting to survive. Zlata’s very personal accoutn is a vivid portrait of an innocent child caughht up in a terrible war.

Thoughts

I put this book on my wish list because it was a book read by the Freedom Writers. I knew absolutely nothing about Sarajevo or Bosnia or the war that was occurring literally on the day that I was born. And although I still don’t know much at all about the politics of the situation and all the ins and outs. Reading about a child’s thoughts during war… terrifying.

After having read The Diary of Anne Frank, it is terrifying to read yet another tragic story. Although, admittedly, there was a much happier ending to this tale. The innocence of Zlata just shines out of the pages, and the terror and confusion that she felt… it is an incredibly uncomfortable read this novel. One that I would suggest for everyone. But still incredibly informative.

I had to read this novel in small bites – it is incredibly heart wrenching and horrifying. It is also kind of hopeful. A great reminder of the power of the human spirit. The part that I loved the most about this was the power of the human spirit. And the ways in which all of Zlata’s family and neighbourhood banded together to support one another. It’s not the kind of thing that can always be hoped for, and it is a reminder that people can survive anything.

Zlata’s diary is a powerful and wonderful read. It is definitely not a feel good story or one that I necessarily felt the need or desire to read before bedtime, but it was definitely one that I will go back to in the future. And I would most definitely recommend it to others.

<- The Happiest RefugeeThe Diary of a Young Girl ->

Image source: Puffin Books Australia

Lucky Child by Loung Ung

Overview
BOOKS - Loung Ung

Title: Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind
Author: Loung Ung
Series: Daughter of Cambodia #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, History, Memoirs, War
Dates read: 27th February – 13th March 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Year: 2000
5th sentence, 74th page: While they chatter away about the farm and the weather, Cou slowly fold Khouy’s clothes and lays them on the plank.

Synopsis

The author of the critically acclaimed bestseller First They Killed My Father returns with a searing and redemptive story of life in America as a Cambodian genocide survivor.

After enduring years of hunger, deprivation, and devastating loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, ten-year-old Loung Ung became the “lucky child,” the sibling chosen to accompany her eldest brother to America while her one surviving sister and two brothers remained behind. In this poignant and elegiac memoir, Loung recalls her assimilation into an unfamiliar new culture while struggling to overcome dogged memories of violence and the deep scars of war. In alternating chapters, she gives voice to Chou, the beloved older sister whose life in war-torn Cambodia so easily could have been hers. Highlighting the harsh realities of chance and circumstance in times of war as well as in times of peace, Lucky Child is ultimately a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the salvaging strength of family bonds.

Thoughts

This is just as hard hitting as the first Ung book, First They Killed My Father. It is dark, twisted and definitely the type of book that you need to read only in certain moods. But it is also important, poignant, and brilliantly written. I loved every moment of reading this. Even if it wasn’t the type of book that I wanted to read each and every day.

The entire time I read this memoir, my heart honestly ached. It is an incredibly tragic tale. One that, even though Loung gets out of Cambodia young, continues on. She manages to write about her PTSD and the difficulties of adapting to a foreign country in a way that is a little heartwrenching, incredibly realistic, but still not so overwhelming that you can’t stomach the idea of reading the story. It’s a fine line to walk when retelling tales of war and PTSD, but Ung manages to do so in a relatable and approachable way. Now I can’t wait to read the final book in this trilogy!

My sister is my favourite person in the world. She is my best friend, confidant and the person that honestly understands me more than anyone else. It is obvious from the way that she writes that Ung feels very much the same. Which probably is what made this story so hard for me to read – Loung and Chou are separated for fifteen years in a time that would have been crucial to both of them in their social and physical growth. It is definitely a little heart wrenching. But I love that there is this constant reminder that sisters are forever. That no matter the time that passed, they were still sisters and still loved each other dearly.

This is a great way to tell the story of two sisters – you journey alongside both Loung and Chou to find out what their lives were like after the war and the genocide. It helps to show how different twists of fate can make two lies. And how intensely the past can affect our every day lives. It is one of those stories that will stick with me forever and I will probably reread this multiple times in the future.

<- First They Killed My FatherLulu in the Sky ->

Image source: Loung Ung

Born Free by Joy Adamson

Overview
Born Free: The Full Story by Joy Adamson

Title: Born Free
Author: Joy Adamson
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Conservation, Memoirs, Nature
Dates read: 3rd – 15th January 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pan
Year: 1960
5th sentence, 74th page: It was evident therefore that after having camped here for three months we try to choose a better home for her.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

‘In the back of the car were three lion cubs, tiny balls of spotted fur, each trying to hide its face. They were only a few weeks old and I took them on my lap to comfort them. The third cub was the weakling in size, but the pluckiest in spirit. I called her Elsa, because she reminded me of someone of that name.’

With these immortal words, conservationist Joy Adamson introduced the world to Elsa the lioness, whom she had rescued as an orphaned cub and raised at her home in Kenya. But as Elsa had been born free, Joy made the heartbreaking decision that hte mature lion must be returned to the wild, despite the incredible bond they shared.

Since the first publication of Born Free in 1960, and its sequels Living Free and Forever Free, generations of readers have been inspired and moved by the remarkable interaction between Joy and Elsa. Here is the chance to discover the full story in this 50th anniversary edition, in the words of the woman who walked with the lions.

Thoughts

I’ve been meaning to get to this book for a very long time. But it just seems to be sitting there, gathering dust. Which meant that I really needed to sink my teeth into this. Born Free is one of those books that I have picked up and put down more times than I can remember. Which made me very, very glad when I finally put aside the time to actually read this and experience the wonderful world of Elsa.

I’m incredibly glad that I read this novel. It’s definitely one of those stories that needs to be read at least once. And I found the journey of Elsa enthralling and fantabulous. However, I didn’t necessarily love Adamson’s writing. It was just a little… lacking. Which made it harder and harder to get into the tale. Particularly after the point in the story in which Elsa dies. It’s interesting what happens with her cubs, but I just didn’t feel that attached.

As someone who has done some work in conservation and read many, many reports on relocation, rewilding and releases, it was intriguing to read about one of the first cases of releasing a wild animal. The trials and tribulations which Adamson and Elsa went through are not only fascinating, but you can also see some of the mistakes that were built upon in today’s exercises.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. And, because of the awesome content, one that I would suggest to others. But it wasn’t the kind of book that I will pick up again and again. I won’t give away my copy, but I also won’t be diving to pick it up again.

<- WildingBabylon’s Ark ->

Image source: Goodreads