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The Last of the Wild Places of England...............................
on December 31, 2015
A most beautiful and haunting story. The brevity of the book allows the story to stand lonely and starkly exposed. The worst actions of human beings; ridiculing an ugly crippled hunchback who cares for injured birds, butchering helpless men stranded on a beach in France.My grandfather was at Dunkirk, so perhaps the story has a special poignancy.
‘Men are huddled on the beaches like hunted birds. Frith, like the wounded and hunted birds we used to find and bring to sanctuary.'
Despite the ugliness, 'love' - innocent, ancient and pure, shines through. That man, no matter his circumstance, can create, inspire and express himself through art. Snow Goose was written in 1940, by Paul Gallico, an American living in war torn London. Perhaps the sentiment that duty to fellow man, no matter how you personally have been maligned, was needed as the UK too, stood alone. Thankfully the war didn't end as Paul Gallico perhaps foresaw where
'Nothing was left to break the utter desolation.'
You are left numb as you finish the book. Emotionally exhausted.
Then, as you reflect on the book, what first starts as a chink of light and then shining brightly, is the strength of the human spirit. Which despite the physical destruction of all, ultimately lives on brighter and unencumbered.