Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Watership Down by Richard Adams
I first read this book somewhere around age 12. I had seen the animated version as a younger child but didn't comprehend the story. Reading the novel made me feel intelligent and sophisticated! It was the first "grown up" novel I read and it opened doors for me to other reading material I hadn't yet considered. I was in my twenties before I learned the book was written for children, and I was super disappointed for my young self.
My passion for animals was in full swing by age 12 so I'm sure this book was in the right place at the right time, but I absolutely loved it. This is also around the same age at which I acquired a pet bunny - go figure!
What interested me most about the rabbits in Watership Down was the glimpse into a community of animals living without humans as a main character. They had relationships, mythological beings, and their own language. Wow! While I realized animals in the wild didn't live exactly like this, it sparked my interest in how they might live. This book not only fueled my love of reading, it encouraged my interest in animals and biology.
The copy pictured above is the one I gave my husband as a birthday gift when we first started dating. The one pictured below is that first copy I had.
I've read this book twice since that first time, but I'm pretty sure I haven't read it in the last 20 years. I've chosen it as my selection for when I host for our book club in June, our theme being Choose Your Favorite Book. The reason I chose this and not The Lovely Bones is because this is my first favorite book. It has been a part of who I am for a long time! Just discussing it evokes a strong emotional response, so I am extremely curious and happy to revisit it at my age to see how it feels and what my friends and I take away from it now.