Book Review: Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald – “hugely readable, yet endlessly thought-provoking”

 

Reading Helen Macdonald’s 2014 book H is for Hawk was highly memorable for me. As I wrote in my review, “this is a book which makes one look afresh at man’s links with nature. In a time when we are rightly focused on global, big-picture problems, it nevertheless reminds us of the values we derive from being individually and inextricably bound to our own heritage and community”.

Macdonald’s latest work, Vesper Flights continues on the same theme, this time expanding on the glory and importance of our differences in a collection of vivid and powerful essays:

“I hope that this book works a little like a ‘Wunderkammer’ [a cabinet of curiosities]. It is full of strange things and it is concerned with the quality of wonder…..Most of all I hope my work is about a thing that seems to me of the deepest possible importance in our present-day historical moment: finding ways to recognise and love difference. The attempt to see through eyes that are not your own. To understand that your way of looking at the world is not the only one. To think what it might mean to love those that are not like you. To rejoice in the complexity of things.”

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Reading Jamaica Inn for Daphne du Maurier Reading Week

Once again this year, Ali is hosting her Daphne du Maurier Reading Week – a fabulous opportunity for DDM fans to re-read beloved favourites, and for DDM newbies like me, to discover more of her writing.

My first DDM novel was Rebecca, which was my choice for last year’s reading week and I absolutely loved it. This year I picked Jamaica Inn. Continue reading