3 out of 5 stars

Nina Burton had always stayed in a cottage in the brief Scandinavian summer and after her mother passed away she sold her apartment and bought a country cottage deep in the Swedish countryside. It needs some improvement and this book is the story of the time spent there as the renovations took place and her discovery of the natural world around the cottage.

The work required was quite substantial and the workmen began with the roof. Not only did the roof have almost no insulation, but the little that was, had been used by a squirrel to make a nest so it could keep warm. For each of the animals she encounters, for example, pigeons, badgers, blackbirds and ants who are literally in and around the house there are stories to tell.

Burton is quite a keen observer of the plants and wildlife around her. The writing isn’t too bad either, quite matter of fact mostly, but she does have a habit of going off on a tangent. I must say that I disagreed with her using poison to kill some of the creatures that she was sharing the forest with. They have been there much longer than she has and hopefully will be there long after too. Not bad overall, but not the best that I have read.

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