This is so not even close to what I was expecting. It’s funny because it’s literally about what the title says but I still managed to come to the book with all kinds of wrong notions about Jane Goodall. This is a memoir but also plainly gives the actual reasons she has to hope for a better future and a better world than what we’ve had. I had no idea that Goodall was so spiritual either, or that she believed in anything other than science.
Pretty much the only thing I actually knew about Jane Goodall before listening to her memoir is that she had worked with chimpanzees a long time ago. How she got there and what she did afterward was so unexpected. As a child, when I first heard her name, I was too young to realize that women couldn’t always be scientists. Later, her name was such a familiar one that I assumed she had made it the traditional way; persevering through a school system and career field that didn’t want her there. In the years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve learned the names a lot more in science but Goodall was one that I think every kid learned about in the 80’s.
Then to get from her career in research to her activism and her reasons for hope for all of us just floored me. I cried so many times in this book, mostly in the second half when she started her activism. I am grateful for the changes she made to the world. I can look at the difference between the world I grew up in and the one my son sees and know that she’s on to something about the reasons for hope. It makes me wonder where we’ll all be by the time I’m her age.
Given her experiences, the book was probably going to be amazing no matter what, but she also had this amazing voice in it. She can be so poetic in her prose that it just makes we want to listen to some parts over and over again, especially the beginning of the first chapter. Okay, I totally listened to it over again. I loved every minute of it, even the parts that hurt and reminded me of how much we owe to people like her.
I listened to the audiobook at Scribd but it’s also available for purchase from several places. Click on the cover image for options from Booklikes or add to Goodreads for theirs.