How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family
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Melissa Hart, a desperately lonely young divorcee 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.
Lyons Press, 9780762796809, 336pp.
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
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.
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