★ "An entrancing storyteller who illuminates facts and feelings with sterling precision, Montgomery recounts dramatic and sweet interactions with these 'unlikely, surprising animals,' describing a wondrous array of personalities, including that of the astoundingly resilient, attentive, and gigantic snapper called Fire Chief." — Booklist (starred review)
"Montgomery's heart-tugging conversations with teammates and her commitment to helping an octogenarian named Fire Chief reveal turtles to be perfect conduits for meditations on aging, disability and chosen family.” — Scientific American
"A celebration of a magnificent species. Besides conveying the turtle’s amazing longevity and capacity for healing, Montgomery offers vivid portraits of the distinct personalities of patients under the care of the heroic TRL staff. An engaging, informative, and colorful journey into the world of turtles." — Kirkus Reviews
"In this moving outing, Montgomery captures the joy in the team’s successes and the sorrow in their losses and Patterson’s sketches of spotted and painted turtles in their natural habitats delight. An enjoyable account of the everyday travails of dedicated conservationists." — Publishers Weekly
"'Turtles' is very much of a piece with Montgomery's beatific 'The Soul of an Octopus' in its assertion that listening to another species—and using what you learn—is good not just for those creatures but for everyone. A beautiful book—you'll want to savor it (slowly)." — Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Of Time and Turtles is a book of miracles, both human and chelonian. We are all lucky to share this earth with turtles, and with Sy Montgomery.” — Sabrina Imbler, author of How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures, on Of Time and Turtles
"Writing from the height of her powers, Sy Montgomery shows us in magnificent and essential ways how much we are connected, even with the most unlikely of animals." — Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, on Of Time and Turtles
“Chronic underestimation is all we seem to bestow on reptiles, especially the slow kind. But as Sy Montgomery makes clear, an animal doesn’t need to be fast to fascinating.” — Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, on Of Time and Turtles
“Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” — New Statesman
“Sweet moments are at the heart of Montgomery’s compassionate, wise and tender new book…Only a writer of her talent could make readers care about octopuses as individuals…Joins a growing body of literature that asks us to rethink our connection to nonhumans who may be more like us than we had supposed.” — St. Paul Pioneer Press on The Soul of an Octopus
"A rare jewel, full of empathy and the profound wisdom Sy has received from animals she has loved over her extraordinary lifetime. This sweet book is a triumphant masterpiece that I'm recommending to everyone." — Stacey O'Brien, New York Times bestselling author of Wesley the Owl, on How to Be a Good Creature
"In loving yet unsentimental prose, Sy Montgomery captures the richness that animals bring to the human experience. Sometimes it takes a too-smart-for-his-own-good pig to open our eyes to what most matters in life.” — John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, on The Good Good Pig
“If you’re a bird-lover—or otherwise revel in nature—you’ll appreciate Montgomery’s latest. . . . It’s an informative read that will make you want to go outside and look up into the sky.” — Washington Post on The Hawk’s Way
A celebration of a magnificent animal.
Melding science and memoir, naturalist Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus, The Hummingbirds’ Gift, and other celebrated nature books, shares her experiences as a volunteer at the Turtle Rescue League, in Massachusetts, where, along with wildlife artist Patterson, she worked laboriously to care for “the most imperiled major group of animals on earth.” Turtles fall victim to myriad threats: They are often run over by vehicles, “dogs and cats chew them, lawn mowers and farm equipment shred them, curious children harass and kidnap them, and asphalt and concrete displace their nesting areas.” Some are caught in the illegal wildlife trade: “A single Yunnan box turtle could command $200,000 on the black market. A Chinese three-striped box turtle, whose powdered plastron is rumored (incorrectly) to cure cancer, can fetch as much as $25,000.” Turtle eggs are vulnerable to predators such as raccoons and skunks and even trees, whose roots will penetrate the eggs to suck moisture in times of drought. Besides conveying the turtle’s amazing longevity and capacity for healing—they are able to regenerate nerve tissue—Montgomery offers vivid portraits of the distinct personalities of patients under the care of the heroic TRL staff: Among the many box turtles, spotted turtles, sea turtles, tortoises, and painted turtles were the feisty Fire Chief, a huge great snapper; the beloved painted turtle Sugarloaf; and gregarious red-footed tortoise Pizza Man. Each had a special relationship to caregivers— and to one another. Montgomery was surprised to learn that turtles communicate verbally. “Some species of Australian and South American river turtle nestlings,” she reveals, “communicate vocally with each other, and with their mothers, while still inside the egg.” Montgomery is justifiably admiring of the devoted TRL staff, who work to heal, restore, and rehabilitate their injured patients so they can be released back into the wild. The book includes Patterson’s delicate drawings.
An engaging, informative, and colorful journey into the world of turtles.