This book was well-written but odd. This woman is sort of a stream-of-consciousness writer, she seems to cover whatever comes into her mind at a given time. The stories she tells about clients calling a help line are interesting, then she's off on Walt Whitman, then on to hummingbirds, with an astonishing amount of detail on the seemingly separate topics. She has a lot of interests and notices a lot in the world, and that's refreshing. But it really was a bit disjointed and difficult to read for me. On the jacket, someone talked about "funny" stories and I must say I didn't laugh once in reading the book, it mostly seemed sad (suicides) and pastoral (flora and fauna). Interesting, I didn't dislike it but didn't love it either.
By the author the bestselling, intelligent "A Natural History of the Senses," this newer book is equally as engaging. "A Slender Thread" refers to the narrowest, most fragile thread of hope that can make the difference between life and suicide. The author knows her stuff - she served as a counselor for a suicide-prevention hotline. But more than that, this book chronicles her deeper thoughts on nature itself, on choices, on compassion, on relationships, and on desperation. I found it to be incredibly thought-provoking, a book that will stay on my mind for a long time.