Friday, December 05, 2008

REVIEW: Wesley the Owl

Title: Wesley the Owl, The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
Author: Stacey O'Brien
ISBN: 9781416551737/ Free Press
Genre: Memoirs, Nature
Rating: A+

First Line: On a rainy Valentine's Day morning in 1985, I fell in love with a four-day-old barn owl.

The subsequent 225 pages are an account of that love affair, which spanned nineteen years. Wesley's wing had suffered nerve damage, and he could never be released into the wild. Stacey knew that, when she agreed to care for the small helpless fledgling, the commitment would last years. She didn't realize the impact one bird would have on her life.

The knowledge O'Brien shares about owls is fascinating. They truly are unlike any other bird. Wesley imprinted on Stacey from the beginning, and the tales of their learning experiences together make the pages turn. The photographs included add a great deal to the story as well. O'Brien knows, as I do, that animals are sentient beings. They have intelligence, and they have emotions. Just because their intelligence and emotions may differ from ours does not mean that they do not exist. Many of the episodes shared are laugh-out-loud funny, but I do want to include a warning. If you cried at the ending of "Old Yeller", if you have pets that you are passionately attached to, have a box of Kleenex on hand before you read chapter sixteen. I didn't and had to go hunt for some.

Although the ending is sad, what remains behind is a feeling of awe and of joy that these two found each other, shared so much with each other, helped each other, and loved each other through two decades. How many human relationships can say the same? If you're a reader who loves wildlife, who's interested in animal behavior, who loves a book that can make you laugh and make you cry, Wesley the Owl is the book for you.


  1. I didn't know about your other blogs Cathy..this is a wonderful blog too.

  2. Cathy ~ you are the second person I've seen recently who mentioned this book. It sounds amazing! :)

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    Happy Monday!



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