THE GIFT OF THE DEER by Helen Hoover


Email this review


Mrs. Hoover, a science writer and her husband, an artist who has done the illustrations for this book have fashioned a unique (in modern terms) life for themselves in the wilderness of Northern Minnesota. Their philosophy of coexisting with rather than dominating nature brought them a number of unusual companions. This book, which covers many years, is about a whitetail buck that arrived on their cabin doorstep one Christmas day. Blinded in the left eye (buckshot), shaking and on the edge of starvation, ""Peter"" responded to food and affection and soon acquired an entourage. There was ""Mamma"" who faithfully turned up with fawns each spring, her older sons, the semi-vicious ""Pig"" and quiet, retiring ""Brother,"" her daughters ""Pretty,"" a graceful vision, and affectionate bumbling ""Fuzzy"" who ""acted as though she took tranquilizers."" And there were other visitors: ""Gregory"" the Groundhog who rooted up the Hoovers' gardening attempts, a bobcat and a lynx who worked in strange companionship, and a more vicious visitor--the hunter who turned up looking for some easy shots and threatened Mrs. Hoover with a rifle until she chased him off Annie Oakley style. Mrs. Hoover writes with ease, conveying a sense of wonder and life with a gentle grace. Her objectivity and acceptance of all of nature's nuances, sometimes brutal, often tragic, places this book far above the usual sentimental memoir. Excellent.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1966
ISBN: 081663128X
Publisher: Knopf