Set in the English landscape of the Kent countryside, this beautiful and extraordinary novel follows the life of a hedge sparrow – from winter to summer – as its nest and its young are ravaged by the intrusion of a young cuckoo as well as by the thoughtlessness of humankind. It is a story of catastrophe and survival. From the rapture of mating, the patient nest-building, the laying of tiny sky-blue eggs, the book shows the world through birds’ eyes. It will forever change the way you look at trees and hedges and the creatures who live in them.
What Nigel says:
Early one morning I was driving along a small country lane to my local station. Suddenly a bird flew out of the hedgerow. It flashed through my headlights and only narrowly missed being hit by my car.
On the train to London, I couldn’t get the incident out of my head. I imagined what would have happened if I had killed the bird – perhaps there was a nest with young birds in it, perhaps they would die too because the adults wouldn’t be there to feed them. It was the starting point for writing The Heart of the Valley.
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