Saving Graces consists of twenty-four short essays about the natural world. Each is an invitation to look at seemingly ordinary aspects of life with fresh eyes, as if seeing horse chestnuts, trees, or bees for the first time. This may be the book's greatest strength: It recaptures childlike wonder at the world, where everything is fascinating and marvelous. For seasoned naturalists, Saving Graces could be a call for them to remember why they became naturalists in the first place; for young readers, it is an invitation to experience the world in new and interesting ways, and it invites them to celebrate life. Swain draws on his own experiences as a young adult to show how the natural world worked its magic on him even when he was not thinking about it, and in so doing not only explains why he became a biologist, but how young adults may find wonders for themselves not far from home.
(The entire section is 156 words.)