Primarily a memoir, Dawn Again focuses on Doniga Markegard’s growth from a teenage nature tracker to a regenerative rancher.
Dawn Again represents a particularly good example of alternative schooling. The author’s experiences as a wildlife observer, mother, and rancher are significant, and descriptions of her immersive nature education in the first third of the work are particularly vivid and clear.
Markegard describes her early teenage years as tumultuous, marked by a discontent with traditional schooling and significant runaway episodes. However, a nontraditional wilderness tracking school awoke her love of nature and set her on the path to becoming an environmental advocate. She eventually became a rancher and mother, applying her principles to her children and her husband’s cattle.
The book generally communicates in an evocative tone that focuses on emotional and cultural inspiration. While it does feature supporting research for information that it cites in-text, it is more the story of a woman’s life than it is a primer on regenerative ranching or wildlife education. It is an overwhelmingly optimistic book.
The book features a brand of quasi-spiritual connections to nature that involve meditation, dreams, and other forms of mystical inspiration. This may appeal to audiences that are reluctant to wade into the intimidating and often depressing sea of modern environmental literature, especially that of the data-driven variety. As such, it could function as a good bridge book to heavier work. It may also be able to act as an ambassador for the regenerative ranching movement.
Dawn Again is a light, enjoyable overview of an unconventional life.
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