Book Review || This One Wild and Precious Life by Sarah Wilson

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

This One Wild and Precious Life
Sarah Wilson
1st September 2020

This was one of those books where I actually tried to consciously slow myself down so that I wouldn’t read it too fast and be sad when it was over (I still read it too fast…). In fact, I think I will probably be rereading this one again very soon - my copy is absolutely tabbed up to the max, and I have even underlined certain parts, that’s how much I connected with this text.

First of all, let’s talk about the writing. Wilson writes in this amazing way which connects you with her and also the world at large in such an immediate way - she managed this with first we make the beast beautiful as well, and it’s even more apparent in this book. The tagline for this is ‘a hopeful path forward in a fractured world’, and I really feel like she manages this. She presents data and quotes from professionals of their field, intermingled with quotes from writers and philosophers, as well as her own experiences and those of people she knows. Randomly interspersed throughout are stories of hikes she has gone on, and I loved these possibly even more than the rest of the text (though I loved it all - has that come across yet?) as any form of nature writing mixed with memoir is just my jam.

Wilson talks about so much in this book that I am having trouble really summing it up properly. Climate change is one of the real big ones that she addresses, and I really appreciated her take on how to handle the next steps of tackling this ‘elephant in the room’. Here, her writing is kind of unflinching, unapologetic, but also still heartfelt. She mentions her own privilege and addresses it a few times throughout the story, which I think helps a lot, and also talks about what individuals can do to move forward and help to save the world - whilst also not letting big business off scot-free. 

I did have some issues with a very few things, like Wilson’s suggestions of reading several newspapers everyday (my mental health cannot withstand this - I know that about myself), but otherwise I absolutely gobbled up this book.

Ultimately, I felt like this book may become something of a touchstone for me - to return to again and again so that I can restore my faith and hope in a healthier world. I highly recommend giving it a go.

10/10 wild and precious stars.

I received a review copy of this book from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

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