Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wild Within - Review & Giveaway

Review by Marlene Engel

In this memoir, we follow Melissa Hart; recent divorcee living in Oregan.  While at a dog park, she meets Jonathan; tall, handsome and lover of raptors.  He educates Melissa on these amazing creatures and even gets her involved with volunteering at the raptor rehabilitation center that he works at.  At first, her decision to volunteer was solely with the hopes of getting to know Jonathan more, but as she gets more involved with these amazing owls, falcons, eagles and other “raptors,” she realizes that her desire to learn more about Jonathan has piqued her new interest in these animals. 

Content with their new-found relationship, Melissa is happy with not having children of her own.  However, the time and love that she shares with these wounded animals has brought out a feeling that she never knew existed.  Her desire to start a family and explore adoption was born out of her love for these creatures.  And she realizes that the definition of family is not in matching DNA, but where your heart and love lies. 

I have always been a lover of animals, so this book was one I knew would interest me.  However, it was more than just the aspect of animals.  The love that is shown not only to the animals, but between Melissa and Jonathan is beautiful.  And, as a parent to an adopted child, their story of adoption sealed my love for this book.  I absolutely recommend this book to others.  It not only appeals to animal lovers, but lovers of love in general. 

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About the Author:
Melissa Hart lives in Eugene, Oregon.  She's the author of the memoir, Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009).  Look for her new memoir--Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family--from Lyons Press in August 2014.

Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Adbusters, Hemispheres, Horizon Air Magazine, Writer's Digest, and The Writer.

She teaches Feature Writing courses at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, and speaks frequently for writing-related organizations and conferences in the Pacific Northwest.

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