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The Stubborn Light of Things Reviews

The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison

The Stubborn Light of Things: A Nature Diary

Melissa Harrison

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 5 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9780571363506

'A writer of great gifts.' - Robert Macfarlane I now live a richly connected year, marked by seasonal events: the first snowdrop in my garden, cut and brought inside;

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
4 stars out of 5
Caroline Sanderson
14 Aug 2020

"Harrison maps her joyful engagement with the natural world in both places, showing that we must learn to see, and act to preserve, the beauty we have on our doorsteps, wherever we live."

Compiled from her Nature Notebook columns for the Times, this beguiling nature diary by the author of All Among the Barley charts her transition from the streets of Streatham, south London, to the Suffolk countryside where she now lives. But this is far from a clichéd book about escaping mean city streets for a rural idyll. Instead, Harrison maps her joyful engagement with the natural world in both places, showing that we must learn to see, and act to preserve, the beauty we have on our doorsteps, wherever we live.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Hannah Beckerman
8 Nov 2020

"She reflects on the changing habitat around her with passionate understanding and gentle encouragement that we follow suit"

For more than 20 years, Harrison lived in London, endeavouring to connect with the city’s seasonal offerings of nature, from its reserves to its birdlife. But eventually she moved to Suffolk, continuing her nature diary for theTimes, on which the book is based, and launching a podcast of the same name. She reflects on the changing habitat around her with passionate understanding and gentle encouragement that we follow suit.

 

4 stars out of 5
John Carey
1 Nov 2020

"The journals of a writer to compare to Thomas Hardy"

 An appealing feature of Harrison’s book is how hopeful she remains. She is aware that Earth has not always been a home for humans, and that they will not inhabit it for ever. She knows, she says, that the Anthropocene age will pass, like the Jurassic. One February morning she digs a fossilised sea urchin out of the clay soil near Peterborough and remarks that this creature lived and died when dinosaurs walked the earth. She probably realises that, for some, the transience of the human species is a matter for rejoicing.