Foreword Reviews

A Sugar Creek Chronicle

Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland

Gentle, lyrical and personal, this firsthand account of climate change will sway skeptics and inspire believers to activism.

Cornelia Mutel, an Iowan ecologist, uses A Sugar Creek Chronicle to detail the subtle and grand changes happening both in her own backyard and worldwide. Yet the book is also intimate, describing scenes from the author’s own family life and loving descriptions of the biodiversity of her Midwestern landscape. The development of her life, including its tragedies, serves both as a reminder of what humanity stands to lose and, in the case of her cancer, an analogy for the sickening of the environment itself. Day by day, she records the changes in her environment, memories of her and her mother’s battles with cancer, and many details of natural life. The book is framed within the hope that Mutel’s granddaughter will eventually read it, and the sense that it is a personal narrative is strong.

The prose is fluid, a pleasure to read, and often uses artful prose to emphasize the tragedy of climate change. When research and hard data do enter the narrative, they do so within the book’s flow, never challenging the sense that the author is writing a diary rather than a polemic, pouring out her heart rather than bashing the reader over the head with statistics. This refreshing approach is bound to soften holdouts against the concept of climate change and will inspire believers who place environmental activism low on their list of priorities.

Consider A Sugar Creek Chronicle a must-read for environmentalists and a strong recommendation for everyone else. This unique and beautiful book also deserves to be on college reading lists nationwide.

Reviewed by Anna Call

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review