You know when a book is quite lovely but it’s just not your thing? That’s what happened with me and Nest by Inga Simpson.
It was probably shaky ground from the outset because this is how I feel about birds:
But anyway, Simpson builds a loose story about a missing girl, and her own missing father, around abundant details of birds, nests, drawing birds, observing birds, forests, timber and gardening. This is how I feel about gardening:
It’s lucky I like trees.
As a child, Jen told her father that the trees spoke to her, and he had not seemed surprised. They spoke to her still. They gentled her, had allowed her to put down roots, and extend them – albeit tentatively – into the ground.
The descriptions of birds and plants are beautifully written and evocative –
Up and around the next bend, on a drier and narrower path, she dropped into a shallow mallee heath valley. The grass trees were bigger, and the geebung. The banksias, dwarfed and gnarly, were a sea of yellow candles, lighting the understorey.
The quail were at it again. Flecked brown, low to the ground. Chirping. A covey of at least twelve scuttling off into the undergrowth with a clumsy waddle, as it they couldn’t fly.
But page after page of lovely descriptions was just too much for me.
There’s a story in there somewhere, as well as a solid theme of security and how that can be threatened on a personal and societal level, but this is certainly not a plot-driven book despite what the blurb may suggest.
2.5/5 You would really have to be in the mood for something quiet and reflective.
Jen bakes melting moments.