The Shining Levels The Shining Levels by John Wyatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People are affected by the grand vistas of the Lake District in many ways, many return year after year to climb the same hills, to bask in the tranquillity of the lakes or to just enjoy the peace away from the hubris of modern life. John Wyatt’s first experience of this part of the country was when he visited in the cub scouts and it deeply affected him.

A few years later he was working for the Telegraph in Manchester, but the draw of the lakes still had him, so he applied for the job of forest worker at Cartmel Fell. He ended up in a simple hut that had a bed, a stove and very little else. The work was simple and hard, but he relished the task as he was living in the place that he loved the most. One day everything changed when two boys brought him a young fawn that they had found and thought was ill. He explained that it had probably been hidden by its mother who’d return later, but by then it was too late. Wyatt had gained a charge, that he came to call Buck.

If you are expecting wide panoramas of the beautiful landscapes of the lakes then this is probably not the book for you, there is a fair amount about the comradery of the people who he worked with and who he lived near but the majority of this book is about John caring for a young roe deer that was to become a great, semi-wild companion. The antics of Buck would regularly startle and surprise those who would not expect a wild animal to have such a close association with a human. Wyatt may not have had many possessions when he was a woodsman, but he had a life that had riches that no one else could buy.

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