Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 36.
- Review Date: 2009-03-30
- Reviewer: Staff
In this sensuous nature journal, MacArthur “genius” award winner Carroll (The Year of the Turtle) follows the inhabitants of his local New Hampshire wetlands through a season of turtle life from March thaw, when the turtles wake from hibernation, to November, when ice puts them back to sleep, along the way celebrating such personal “holy days” as “the Return of the Red-winged Blackbird.” Wearing camouflage and waders, he meets wildlife on its own terms. At the sudden appearance of a red doe, he wonders, “to have those senses—would I trade my thinking, dreaming, imagining mind for them for one full day... would I ever want to come back?” He watches a thirsty turtle hatchling encountering water for the first time: he “extends his neck full length, immerses his head, closes his eyes” and drinks for 21 minutes. Accompanied by Carroll's own exquisite drawings, this poetic recording of his season of loving observation is subdued by Carroll's dread of habitat destruction and nostalgia for a boyhood when “I entered waters that, if not alive themselves, were so filled with light and life that my binding with them was as much metaphysical as physical.” (Aug.)