In 1999 Richard Mabey developed a severe depression. He found it difficult to work, and had to leave the house he had lived in since his childhood. Nature Cure
tells of how his friends helped him, giving him a room in a remote part of East Anglia, where he gradually regained his love of life and the natural world.
This is not a 'back to nature' book though, since Mabey, author of plenty of books on natural history and life in the countryside, had never left it. Rather it's a story of how he fared when transplanted from a life which had become too comfortable to one in which he had to start anew, exploring the countryside around him in a fresh light. Mabey has plenty to say on how our society interacts with nature, highlighting the contradiction between trying to protect the natural world, and having somewhere which we can think of as wilderness, untouched by human hand. I felt he was rather overly critical sometimes, as if to say that although he couldn't solve this conundrum, everyone else should be able to. But mostly the book shows his new appreciation of the livng things which surround him. The combination of nature notes and the story of his cure works well, adding interest for those readers who might not want to read about either topic on its own. I'd recommend the book to anyone who wants a relaxing read which also gives new insights into our relationship with nature.