#Book Review – The Circling Sky by Neil Ansell

A thought-provoking and fascinating non-fiction book that’s quite possibly my favourite read of 2021 (and this is really saying something, as I’ve read a sizeable number of truly excellent books to get me through an epically challenging time).

Neil Ansell catalogues his visits throughout the year to the New Forest, with its flourishing plant and birdlife; a forest that’s almost unchanged from its original, planted at the time of William the Conqueror who particularly liked to hunt game.

There are hints of sadness to the book as the author reflects upon the drastic diminishment of birdlife in England during the last few decades, plus the loss of habitat in general for wildlife. He also talks of how the Gypsies dwelt in the New Forest for centuries, living in harmony with the environment, but were then expelled to cities by those who thought they knew better.

Ansell manages to travel quite seamlessly backwards and forwards in time, weaving history, childhood memoir, the present, and the long-term ecological impact of failing to care for the environment.

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About the author: Neil Ansell has been an award-winning television journalist with the BBC and a long-standing writer in newpaper journalism.

You can find out where to buy a copy of The Circling Sky by visiting the publisher’s website https://www.tinderpress.co.uk/titles/neil-ansell/the-circling-sky/9781472272362/

Other books by the same author:

  • Deep Country
  • Deer Island
  • The Last Wilderness (shortlisted in 2018 for Wainwright Golden Beer Prize and the Highland Book Prize)

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

8 thoughts on “#Book Review – The Circling Sky by Neil Ansell”

  1. Ooh this must be the book I’m looking for! I’ve been wanting something like Robert Macfarlane’s “Underworld” since I finished it. Thank you and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Let me know what you think of it 🙂 I must check out “Underworld” now you’ve mentioned it, although at the moment I’m reading some research books for my planned writing project, so I need to be disciplined. Enough avoidance excuses from me over the last 2 years re novel-writing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was reading this book, I kept thinking “Andrea would love this”. See, you were in my mind even when not blogging for months! Now I must catch up with your posts as they’re always such a delight to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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