Book review: Common Ground

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Common Ground by Rob Cowen

Review by M Cummings

Common Ground is a fascinating non-fiction account of the author’s year exploring the ‘edge-lands’ around his new rural home near Harrogate, Yorkshire.

This book is a must for lovers of nature, filled with wonderful descriptions and similes. Though it took me a few chapters to become totally absorbed in his explorations, it was his account of Roe Deer which really captivated my interest in this ‘mixed mass of lost landscape.’

I have my own ‘little piece of England’ to explore and I think the author might approve my latching on to his style of investigations. 2017 sees the start of my year monitoring the flora, trees and visiting wildlife of my own surroundings.

Some of the book’s memorable moments for me included the tale of the vagrant who returns to the edgeland woods on the same date year after year.

I also enjoyed the descriptions of the birth of the author’s son, Thomas. As Cowen knows from his study of nature, life is so fragile, and it was so moving to witness this personal moment through his words.

If you’re interested in nature, why not record the happenings in your own garden or the view from your window?

Or just read and enjoy Common Ground, I shall be re-reading it again and again.

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