3 out of 5 stars
Grief is an intensely personal thing that people cope with, in their own way. When Charlie Corbett lost his mother after a short but aggressive cancer he began to realise that his perspective on life was slipping away.
He had gone out alone with no real purpose in mind and found himself lying on a hill in the rain. His mind was full of dark thoughts and he couldn’t see the point in carrying on anymore. When he heard the song of a skylark above. It was a timely distraction. It was listening to that bird that changed his outlook on life.
He has chosen twelve birds that anyone can see with a little bit of effort and explains why and how they have helped him recover to the point where he has been able to cope with the stress and strains of normal life once again. In amongst that recovery, is the wider story of his mother and his family history and an acknowledgement that his childhood made him who he is today.
There is a strong natural history element to this book, but be aware that the central theme is about him dealing with the grief following the loss of his mother. Nature and birds, in particular, are his way of coping with all the trauma. What it does show though is how life can be improved and in certain circumstances saved by immersing yourself in the natural world. He is not a bad writer either and this is an engaging book.