Every single book I've read for this event has been amazing and I have to admit that I'd had my eye on A Wood of One's Own for quite a long time. Since reading and falling in love with The Outrun last year I've been really excited about this genre that blends memoir and nature writing and I really hoped that A Wood of One's Own would fill the Outrun shaped hole in my heart.
I have to say, although they are very different books about very different things, to some extent it really did. Full disclosure: I still have a teeny little bit of the book to go, but that's because I've been entirely savouring it.
Ruth Pavey's writing is beautiful and very immersive. It's taken me so long to read the book because every time I do I feel like to some extent I am sitting in the wood with her, hearing what she hears and seeing what she sees, and nobody wants to run through the wood on a beautiful, still day do they? The premise of the book is that around the millennium Ruth Pavey bought some woodland with the idea of planting trees and A Wood of One's Own chronicles her journey with the wood. I enjoy her struggles to reconcile her dream with the reality of what the land will allow, and I found the book very thought provoking in terms of our connection with nature and how far we've moved away from it in modern life.
The writing is accompanied by Ruth's hand drawn illustrations of the wood which is just lovely. All in all it's a wonderfully written, quiet, contemplative sort of book - the kind of reading experience that's really good for the mind and the soul and which gives you space to breathe, and to think.
Announcing another raffle prize... Of course, this being our raffle extravaganza, publishers Duckworth Overlook have very kindly donated five lovely copies of A Wood of One's Own for the winner to read and share with friends! Do your Christmas shopping early (and cheaply, and donate to literacy charities while doing it!) and get some tickets for our raffle!
Check back tomorrow for another amazing feature, or catch up with the event so far here.