Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer Reading Challenge 2014: Wild Within by Melissa Hart #SRC2014

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

The last book on our schedule (can you believe it??) is Wild Within by author Melissa Hart.

About the book:

Melissa Hart, a lonely young divorcée and L.A. transplant, finds herself stranded in rainy Eugene, Oregon, working from home in the company of her two cats and two large mutts. At the local dog park, she meets a fellow dog owner named Jonathan: a tall, handsome man with a unibrow and hawk-like nose. When he invites her to accompany him on a drive to Portland to retrieve six hundred pounds of frozen rats and a fledgling barred owl, sparks fly!

Their courtship blossoms in a raptor rehabilitation center where wounded owls, eagles, falcons, and other iconic birds of prey take refuge and become ambassadors for their species. Initially, Melissa volunteers here in order to “sink her talons” into her new love interest, but soon she falls hopelessly in love with her fine feathered charges: Archimedes, a gorgeous snowy owl; Lorax, a serene great-horned owl; and Bodhi, a baby barred with a permanently injured wing. Even as human-habituated birds, they retain a wildness that hoodwinks even the most experienced handlers. Overcoming her fears, Melissa bravely suffers some puncture wounds to get closer to these magnificent creatures.

Melissa and Jonathan start out convinced they don’t want children, but caring for birds who have fallen from their nests triggers a deep longing in Melissa to mother an orphaned child. Thus they embark on a heart-wrenching journey to adoption. Every page sparkles with vivid imagery and wit in this beautifully written memoir of parallel pursuits. Wild Within is, above all, about the power of love—romantic, animal, and parental—to save lives and fulfill dreams. 

This book is about Melissa's journey after suffering a very bad divorce.  She claims to not be a dog person, but keeps her ex-husband's two dogs.  Melissa is also very positive that she does not want any kids.  She meets a photographer named Johnathon at a dog park.  Johnathon volunteers at a raptor rehab center.  He invites her to join him and she agrees!  She is at first apprehensive of the birds, but the more she learns, the more she beings to care about them.  She also is interested in Johnathon and she thinks he is only interested in her as a friend and volunteer.  

This book is all about self-growth.  Melissa learns to deal with the hurt of her first husband's sick betrayal.  She learns to get over her fear of the birds and bonds with them as well.  She learns to trust Johnathon and she realizes that she has a lot of love to give to a child.  Johnathon and her do marry and they decide to adopt a child.  Her and her husband have quite a few setbacks with their adoption.  They two of them learn to be patient about the adoption process and learn on each other for support.  It is heartbreaking at times, but they keep going.  They continue to work at the raptor center and in a way that life parallels the struggles they have with adoption.  However, just like when they release a bird back into the wild, their wait is worth it! :)

About the author:
Melissa Hart is a nature and travel writer and the author of Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. She teaches feature and travel writing at the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and their daughter.

Connect with the author:
·         ·        Facebook:
·         ·        Twitter:
·         ·        Website:
·         ·        Goodreads:

Buy the book:

·        ·        Amazon Hardcover:

If you want to find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge click the image above!

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