The Grass Library: Essays
David G. Brooks’ The Grass Library details his life on a farm in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. On some land he and his partner share, they form an impromptu animal refuge, taking in sheep, dogs, and goats, and living alongside the various animals that populate the area. We get to know the animals as one would good friends. Even visiting ducks and unwanted rats become characters whose lives hold deep meaning and whose trials, joys, and deaths are esteemed in Brooks’ eyes.
Brooks’ writing is poetic. His language has a certain curious clarity to it. The book itself is not only an exploration of animals and nature, but also a mission and exercise in living in the most ethical harmony with them. At times, though the animals are the book’s focus, we are also allowed into the mind of Brooks himself, a man so strictly concerned with the well-being of animals, his life begins to curve around theirs. In a particularly poignant yet humorous chapter, Brooks and his partner stress over the removal of a rat that has made its home in their kitchen.
This book is excellent for anyone interested in animal rights, ethics, and nature writing at its most insightful. It will prompt the reader to turn inward and examine their own relationship with the living things all around them.
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