Monday 12 July 2021


Book review: Deeper Into the Wood by Ruth Pavey [blog tour]

I've been on a non-fiction kick lately, particularly enjoying reads on the natural world, such as the incredible and insightful Tapestries of Life by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson and the calming descriptions of the English countryside and its inhabitants in the books by John Lewis-Stempel. So when I saw that Deeper Into the Wood by Ruth Pavey was released last month it immediately caught my attention – and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share my review of this wonderful book as part of the blog tour. 

Ruth Pavey owns a four-acre wood in Somerset. It's small, and it's a hobby, so she regularly commutes from her home in London to loose herself amongst the trees and shrubs, and to take care of the flora and fauna within the woods. Packed with personal anecdotes and beautiful black-and-white illustrates by her own hand, Deeper Into the Wood details roughly a year's time in this tranquil escape from the city. One in which Pavey notices the rabbits disappearing, analyses the quality of the water running through, conducts a moth survey, investigates the boundary lines of her property, and much more. 

Deeper Into the Wood follows in the footsteps of Ruth Pavey's first memoir about her four-acre woodland in Somerset, A Wood of One's Own, but as a reader you do not have to have read the previous book to dive straight into her new one. Personally, I have not read the first memoir yet (but it's now on my to-read list!) and I wasn't at any time confused nor did I enjoy Deeper Into the Wood any less having no prior knowledge of this particular woodland and Pavey's connection to it. 

As a memoir, the story within the pages often moves from the day-to-day caretaking of the woodland to personal anecdotes. We learn about Pavey's family as they come to visit, the history of the surrounding area as she tries to uncover who the people were that originally owned her land, and how she spends her time in between visits to Somerset. These seemingly disconnected snippets are deftly put together to create a cohesive story of the ever-changing woodland as seen through Pavey's eyes – and the effect it has on her and on other people and its surroundings through the ages. It's incredibly fascinating.

To me, woodlands and being close to nature feel serene, providing an oxygen and energy boost through a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in a city. And while reading Deeper Into the Wood I didn't actually spend time in nature, mentally I felt I did; Pavey's observational writing style is very calming – on top of being insightful. I learned so many fascinating things along the way, from the decline of rabbits in England through to the different kind of baskets used for fruit picking. 

Deeper Into the Wood is a beautiful testimony to the English woodlands and the wider ecosystem it supports and is a part of. With her detailed descriptions and illustrative sketches, Pavey transports the readers to the apple trees within her woodland, so you can easily imagine yourself walking amongst the sheep that have run off from the neighbouring farmer. I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the Somerset woodland through Pavey's words and illustrations, and I cannot wait to return by picking up the first memoir, A Wood of One's Own, soon as well. 

'Deeper Into the Wood'
by Ruth Pavey is published by Duckworth Books, and you can order your copy now from your favourite book shop.

Blog tour stops for 'Deeper Into the Wood' Ruth Pavey

This review for 'Deeper Into the Wood' is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure you check out the other stops for some wonderful content!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the blog tour support x


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