Have a look at these reviews for “Coming Full Circle” by Budd Titlow and Mariah Tinger!
Online Book Club recommends this book to environmentalists and lovers of nature. History lovers and academics can also learn some things from this book.
Reviewed by Online Book Club
“..An ambitious work of fiction which sets out to describe, in terms of the generations of one family, how we should consider ourselves Custodians, rather than Dominators, of this planet called Earth.
Starting with the new settlers who travelled west through America to make homesteads and new lives for themselves, this book goes from the 1700s into our near future, a vast timescale to cover. I thoroughly liked what it set out to do: the shared passion for conservation of one family being passed down through their lineage, shown in their love and respect for the environment through different political and social circumstances reflective of the concerns of the periods in which they lived; for example, from the hunting of bison to near extinction, to the killing of birds for their feathers to decorate hats, to the mass production of oil for our consumption. Titlow and Tinger frame their narrative around key environmental pointers of America’s history and use this to great effect to project their message. And there is a message within this eco-novel and a very serious one at that – that we need to live in harmony, seeing ourselves as part of the whole, with our living environment and respect and care for it and everything that lives in it with forethought and a view to conserving it… before it’s too late.
In terms of conveying this message, the book is effective, and there were times while I was reading it, I felt a sense of loss and anger at how humans have used the earth and its resources solely as something to be exploited for their own ends. I felt guilt, too, that I am part of that. In my view, the book is worthy of four stars for arousing these feelings.
However, there were times where I felt like the book was a little repetitive, especially when meetings were depicted and the characters were called upon to speak at conferences and public debates, for example. I understand that within the narrative, these were useful vehicles to discuss wider issues and that in having characters presenting them to others or talking about them, they become an integral part of the story. However, I felt like this overshadowed the characters a little and their interaction; they became the puppets to convey the message rather than characters in their own right. Remarkably, the characters at the beginning of the book have less dialogue, but I had a greater idea of them as people than I did characters in the latter part of the book, and this, for me, was a shame. I felt more like I was reading views and policies rather than a story.
That being said, there is a lot in this book that makes it worth reading and a worthy read. It is a text for our times and presents us with views that are generally derided to our peril, but “Coming - 2 - Full Circle” takes the time to depict them in a way that makes them accessible and relatable, and this is to be applauded."
Reviewed by Rachel Deeming for Reader Views (11/2022)
Readers’ Choice recommends Coming Full Circle to fans of issues-focused fiction who also enjoy family sagas and tales of growth, learning, and self-discovery.
Reviewed by Readers Choice
This groundbreaking dive into the intricacies of conservationism in America is presented by Budd Titlow and Mariah Tinger, a father-daughter duo who have spent their lives studying the world around them.
They bring to bear their years of experience as wetland scientist, biologist, observer, photographer, author, educator, podcaster, parent, partner, and climatologist to bring their unique perspectives to today’s issues from both modern and historical standpoints.
The loss of biodiversity in multiple forms is an often overlooked current-day crisis. Conservationism has been an issue from the dawn of time, but the responsibility for protecting our planet has been placed firmly on the shoulders of humans, especially as we’ve progressed. From the mistreatment of Native Americans to the loss of plants, birds, and larger animals, each new species lost brings a future permanently deprived of a more robust and diverse environment than was previously possible.
Titlow and Tinger cover not only the loss of biodiversity, but the effects of water pollution, the misuse of natural resources, the degradation of coastal ecosystems, and the evolution of the global climate crisis over generations. Caring for a planet is a big job that requires many hearts, minds, and hands united in their efforts to preserve our most precious facets.
Despite their dire theme, their message is ultimately one of hope. The poor decisions of the past are not insurmountable and have not solidified the outcome of the future. Plainly, they lay out solutions to some of nature’s biggest problems. Many of the biggest steps toward a resolution have already been taken, and with the support of the public, further plans can be implemented in years to come.
Through storytelling, Titlow and Tinger recount the events of colonial domination in America and how misuse and carelessness have led to modern environmental problems. Later sections of this book cover ECO-Truth members exploring current-day ecological issues that helped shift the mindset of society, priming the world stage for a much-needed positive change.
Reviewed by Book Excellence
Using a blend of historical fiction and poignant truths, the (book’s) narrative delivers a spirited discourse on conservation, our environment, oneness, and, chiefly the concept of coming full circle. Overall, the authors’ expertise in the topic of conservationism and their knack for storytelling is on full display, making for a highly recommended read.
Reviewed by Highlight Review, US Review of Books