Fine Things About... Fox & I by Catherine Raven

This book is not for everyone- it’s very description-heavy for most of the text (plants and animals). There were definitely times where I wanted more information about the author and her life, but, nonetheless, I really enjoyed it.

The relationship between the author and the fox is realistic in terms of what would happen between a biologist and wild animal. The connection is gradual and she relies on her education and experience. There’s no petting, eating from hands, or collars- she isn’t trying to domesticate him.

Catherine Raven the woman is really fascinating- exceptionally intelligent, pragmatic, and introverted. She gives us hints of a troubled upbringing and how she became fiercely independent out of necessity. The Darwinian concept we all learn in the first week of a life sciences class clearly applies to her as well. She’s honest about her social struggles and the strategies she uses to help read people and build relationships.

The descriptions I mentioned above are packed with imagery, details, and objectivity. I actually used a passage with my students and while they may not all be running to pick up their own copies of the book, they quickly picked up on the vividness of the setting.

The ending was bittersweet and I found myself getting choked up- that’s all I’ll say. Despite my emotions I have to admit that the conclusion was true to the entire text.

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