In the Library · Julia P · Memoir · Nature

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating | by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
(Algonquin Books, 2010, 190 pages)

I never would have thought to pick up this book if I hadn’t read so many glowing reviews.  The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating encourages you to read the book at a leisurely pace – it’s a small book that you won’t feel compelled to “power through.”  I’d argue that it is best suited for reading before bed or early in the morning.

This is essentially a mini-memoir that focuses on a period in Bailey’s life when, struggling through an illness that leaves her effectively incapacitated, she finds herself engrossed in the life of a wild snail.  The snail was a surprise guest, smuggled in amidst a bunch of wild violets brought by a friend.  The snail provides a sense of companionship for Bailey and the author eventually devotes a great deal of time to learning more about the seemingly unobtrusive snail.

It’s impressive to have stumbled across a writer who can make the life of a snail seem incredibly interesting.  The fact that she motivated me to want to learn more about a creature I was once repulsed by is a testament to her writing.  It’s a peaceful read that I’d definitely recommend.

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