Up Close: Rachel Carson by Ellen Levine: A Book Review

Rachel Carson is famous for her science nonfiction, THE SILENT SPRING. I had been aware of its immortality among the literati, notably on the list of the TIME as one of the best nonfictions of all time. In fact,I had turned my back on it many times whenever I saw it at my stomping ground. I just skimmed it since it is nonfiction,and I was borne upon the idea that it could no longer be reliable.

Had it been written in great detail or by Rachel Carson herself,for sure, I would have given 5 stars. Nevertheless, I still LIKED it a whole lot,because Rachel Carson was an amazing woman . She inspired not only people with scientific mentality, but even the laymen like me. She even caused me to regress to the “delusional personality “I tried to be- a trying -hard environmentalist. I believe that any books attempted to be written about her would be still worth reading just the like of this Ellen Levine’s.

This book reflects in the other side of Rachel Carson,mostly her dedication to her field of studies, her determination to achieve her dreams, her sisterly and daughterly love for her family,and her viewpoints about religion and science -let alone the question about her being a spinster.

What I liked about Rachel Carson,according to the book, is her “reverence for life”. She humbled herself despite her superior intelligence. She preferred to use her god -send talent in writing in informing the public about how they should have loved the nature ,how they should have been aware of the dangers of artificial chemicals,particularly the pesticides. She used the literature as the instrument to catch their interest in natural sciences. She intended not to be technical ; she put her ideas into the language of the layman. This was how she may have been revolting against the greedy capitalists in 1960’s. She was the antithesis of Harriet Beecher,the author behind the UNCLE TOM’S CABIN. Both were considered nothing in the eyes of the big time business men and politicians but they made a big difference.

In some cases, reading a biography could be apocryphal because of the credibility of the facts and information data gleaned by authors. They could pad their “masterpieces ” with a pack of “fairy tales” to pan out in the market. So could autobiographers. On the other hand, Helen Levine’s may be credible since all the information came primarily from Rachel Carson’ s documents.But what I appreciated about H. Levine is the simplicity of how she narrated Rachel Carson’s personal and professional life. Reading it was like as though I watched a documentary peppered with enough information- enough to inform a reader like me.

Had she written it in great detail combined with her writing skills , like an ambitious novel,for sure, I would have really given it 5 stars. But giving it 5 or 4 stars is neither here nor there. I care about the message of Rachel Carson,so when I go to the bookstore one of these days, I will not give a shadow of doubt about buying the SILENT SPRING more so I’ve got an idea of how she wrote it.

TRIVIA :

Rachel Carson was an ailurophile. She had a confederation of cats which became her companions in writing her notable books. The last cat that became the instrument of her writing the SILENT SPRING was Jeffie. Hahaha! Cool, Rachel. ^^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars

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