Monday, August 25, 2014

#SRC2014 Review: Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family by Melissa Hart

Title: Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family
Author: Melissa Hart
Format: ARC
Publisher: Lyons Press
Publish Date: August 5, 2014
Source: BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge

What's the Story?: 

From "Melissa Hart, a desperately lonely young divorcée and L.A. transplant, finds herself stranded in rainy Eugene, Oregon, working from home in the company of her two cats and two large mutts. At the local dog park, she meets a fellow dog owner named Jonathan: a tall, handsome man with a unibrow and hawk-like nose. When he invites her to accompany him on a drive to Portland to retrieve six hundred pounds of frozen rats and a fledgling barred owl, sparks fly!

Their courtship blossoms in a raptor rehabilitation center where wounded owls, eagles, falcons, and other iconic birds of prey take refuge and become ambassadors for their species. Initially, Melissa volunteers here in order to “sink her talons” into her new love interest, but soon she falls hopelessly in love with her fine feathered charges: Archimedes, a gorgeous snowy owl; Lorax, a fractious great horned owl; and Bodhi, a baby barred with a permanently injured wing. As “human imprints,” these birds see themselves and people as the same species yet retain a wildness that hoodwinks even the most experienced handlers. Overcoming her fears, Melissa bravely suffers some puncture wounds to get closer to these magnificent creatures.

Melissa and Jonathan start out convinced they don’t want children, but caring for birds who have fallen from their nests triggers a deep longing in Melissa to mother an orphaned child. Thus they embark on a heart-wrenching journey to adoption. Every page sparkles with vivid imagery and wit in this beautifully written memoir of parallel pursuits. Wildness Within is, above all, about the power of love—romantic, animal, and parental—to save lives and fulfill dreams."

My Two Cents:

"Wild Within" is a memoir about love, animals, and what it means to be a family. Sometimes family are the people that we choose and not the ones that we are born with. In this book, Melissa Hart talks about how she comes to love raptors. Raptors are not dinosaurs but birds like hawks and owls that hunt for their food. Melissa meets Jonathan who works at a raptor rescue organization and he teaches her about all of these amazing birds. While she is falling in love with the birds she also falls in love with Jonathan. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. I think it will appeal to people who love animals!

I have always been fascinated by owls. But the more that I learn about them and other birds the more that I began to love all the raptors. In this book, Melissa doesn't know anything about raptors before she meets Jonathan. I really liked how she was able to show how she developed a passion for loving these animals. I was very interested in the parts where Melissa talks about her work with the raptors at the raptor rescue organization. She shows how much work and dedication goes into rehabilitating each of these amazing creatures. If you have ever been interested in working with any of these animals, this book would give you a first hand look at what it is like to work with these birds.

I also really like the family aspect of this book. When Melissa and Jonathan first get together and get married, they know that they have a passion for rescuing raptors however they don't think that they want to have any children of their own. That changes when they realize how amazing it can be to rescue someone who really needs you. So they decide to adopt a child. Part of the book is dedicated to talking about everything that they go through in order to adopt. They look at international adoption, which doesn't work out for several reasons. They also look at domestic adoption but even that road is quite hard. As somebody who is interested in the topic of adoption, I found it very interesting to read about their point of view.

Overall, I found this book to be very well written and very interesting. I know this is going to be a book that I want to reread in the future when I'm looking for a book that both teaches you something as well as is very uplifting!



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