Mary's Reviews > Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians

Mountains of the Heart by Scott Weidensaul
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Jul 21, 12


This is such a gorgeous book. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly poignant, Weidensaul blends detailed, accurate science with true passion and understanding. I use this book in a class I teach and it holds the students enthralled, just as I myself am drawn in by his imagery, language, and sheer humanity every time I re-read it. There is one line in this book that I return to again and again. Weidensaul has just concluded a succinct, articulate discussion on the hemlock wooly adelgid, which is both a fascinating and a horrifying problem in eastern forests. The science he presents is thorough, riveting, and beautifully written. He concludes, though, with a truly heart-wrenching line, a line with which those of us who love the woods as much as study them can empathize all too well. He says, "I sat for a long time beside the old hemlock, listening to the wind crying in its needles, and tried not to think of my visit as a deathwatch." Read this book. You will absolutely be grateful that you did.
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