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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
A memoir that deals with profound loss, Jean E. Sidinger’s In Search of the Owl reveals how the author finds renewal through the wonders of nature that she keenly observes together with her late father, ecologist Levi L. Mohler. As this story opens with Sidinger visiting her father at a retirement center, you get a brief but concrete idea of the strong bond that exists between father and daughter, and you cannot help but feel a pang in your heart when they discuss death at the end. She had lost her mother before, and now she struggles to find the optimism and strength that sustained her in the company of her dad. She finds them in the form of a great horned owl—the representation of her spirit of which her father is very much a part. Her journey is not to discover an owl, but to understand the bird’s metaphorical wisdom as it relates to life’s triumph over death.
In Search of the Owl goes much beyond talking about dealing with grief and gradually transitioning to embracing what life has to offer. Jean E. Sidinger’s narration is poetic as well as evocative of nature’s imagery, and this reflects her genuine love for nature. As people deal with loss in different ways, In Search of the Owl is an inspiring memoir that opens your eyes to the great questions of life and where you can find answers if you know where and how to look. It behooves you to reconnect with nature and teaches you to appreciate the people that matter in your lives. This memoir can similarly fall under self-help and inspirational categories, as it illustrates an example of staying optimistic in a world drowning in different noises. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to get back on track with life.