Every spring, millions of geese embark on an arduous three-thousand-mile migration from their winter quarters in the southern United States to their breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic. One year William Fiennes decided to go with them. Intrigued by what he'd read about the birds' amazing annual journey, Fiennes was also desperate to emerge from a period of illness and from the belief that, at age twenty-six, his life had ground to a halt.
The story of his voyage turns out to be about a great deal more than geese. A blend of memoir, natural history, and travel writing, The Snow Geese is also about homecoming: the birds on their long homeward journey north, the romance of homecomings, the urge to leave home and the even stronger need to return. The arc of Fiennes's extraordinary adventure is the backbone of a narrative rich in meditations on philosophy and natural science, and deeply perceptive in its descriptions of both physical and emotional travel.
Already being compared with Bruce Chatwin and Barry Lopez, William Fiennes is a gifted writer with a voice that is thoughtful, wry, and keenly observant. His book thrums with ideas, with stories and anecdotes, with humankind as well as with birds. The joy of being alive, of being on the move, and--above all--of returning home are poignantly captured in this intelligent, exuberant book, a debut of great delicacy and distinction.