Elisabeth Tova Bailey was knocked flat on her back, literally, when she acquired an unknown disease that left her unable to live a normal lifestyle. She goes from being young, healthy, and active to confined to bed within a small apartment in the city close to her doctors. Bailey’s world is narrowed down to what she can experience while laying flat on her back in bed. All this changes after a friend gives her a wild violet plant accompanied by a small snail. Bailey’s fascination with the activities of the snail as it examines and explores its new environment leads her into the realm of research and observation on wild snails and ultimately into philosophy and self-awareness.
I found this book to be like the inhalation and exhalation experienced during meditation. There is a calmness to Bailey’s prose that allows the reader to relax and slowly follow the snail and author as they come to grips with their new situations. This is a natural history study but it is also has elements of philosophy, spirituality and humor woven into it. Both Bailey and the snail enlighten us about life and how to truly enjoy it. As Bailey learns to see the similarities between herself and the snail, the reader cannot help but see how their own life follows a similar path. I recommend this book as an alternative to our rushed lifestyles; the tone of quiet reflection offers the reader a chance to sit still for a while and appreciate what truly makes life worthwhile.
Audience- Teens through adults.