This is certainly no indication of the author's previous success with nature books, for here the writing is inept, or at least ineffectual. Her topic is ""helpful"" symbiosis (relationships where two different species live intimately for the benefit of one or both). On the side, she decries the violence of life and encourages kindly cooperation. Even more distasteful than the clumsy introduction, where all kinds of togetherness are piled into a list of accountings, is the precious quality of the writing: ""What sweet music a flock of birds can make singing in concert, ""and about mussels, ""These little bivalves seem, to love the wildly smashing sea."" While there are many fascinating, curious examples and interesting asides on these ""combin(ing of) forces for a safer, happier, more successful life"" not all are accurate; e.g., that ""coral animals are never found without their plant partners, "" is not true. In conclusion, there is a well-meant plea for conservation and an extraneous appendix of scientific names.