Regrettably, I tore through this gorgeously composed collection of memoir-esque essays in a few hours, and then I went back for more…which I never do. I am not a reader that goes back to read books again and again, but with World of Wonders, that is exactly what I did! My favorite essay was “Bonnet Macaque,” with its painterly prose that makes you feel as if you are transported to the place Aimee is describing. “The rain in southern India pimpled the lake in the morning and greeted us in the afternoon, smelling of crow feathers and cumin.” This one, in particular, brought me right back to a trip I took to India, not too long ago.
Or how Aimee describes her “secret” conversations with birds – even a secret from her husband – that makes you want to slow down and appreciate the beauty surrounding life. “But I think it’s the quiet way you settle into the crook of a tree trunk, the still and slowdown of your heart in a world that wants us to be quick and to move onto the next thing. The secret in talking to birds is in the steadiness of each limb as you make your way into their territory, in the deliberateness of each movement and bend of tree branch and grass blade.”
And the way Aimee took an ordinary object like oranges and explained the multigenerational connection of this fruit to her family, make her essays completely approachable and relatable.
Lastly, to quote Aimee who says, “as Emily Dickinson once wrote, hope is the thing with feathers.”