We Bought A Zoo
Benjamin Mee is by training a psychologist, who had a fairly successful career as a freelance journalist and writer, before deciding on a whim to purchase, in cooperation with his mother and siblings a dilapidated and declining zoo in Devon, England which they have revived and reopened. We Bought A Zoo is Mee’s fascinating memoir of their experiences. For me it was a very fitting follow-up to the zoo based novel Hannah’s Dream (my review here) and was very educational about how zoos have become much more professional and deeply committed to conserving endangered and rare species and educating the public about the natural enviornment over the past several decades.
Given Mee’s journalism background it is no surprise that the memoir reads much like a good novel. Mee’s writing is crisp and polished and he skillfully draws the reader into caring about his life and story. Mee’s wife heartbreakingly dies of brain cancer mid-way through the book and his grief is palpable and at the same time quite beautiful. Having myself buried a spouse in the not too distant past I could really relate to this aspect of the story. And by the time of the final chapter when all of the obstacles had been overcome and the zoo was finally ready to open I was reading avidly through the tears in my eyes. If you are an animal lover, We Bought A Zoo is Highly Recommended. Buy now only $16.95
A final note– this is my 300th post on The Thin Red Line. What a long strange trip this has been.