... tells the intensely personal story of one woman being soothed by nature and finding closure in the process. Sethi drinks in everything from limestone grasslands to dragonflies’ eyes with a childlike curiosity. She becomes more courageous, venturing off the beaten track and making friends with strangers. As she walks and trusts, her anxiety eases and her wounds begin to heal ... This is not a travelogue in the traditional sense, and Sethi is not a typical rambler ... For anyone who has ever felt out of place, I Belong Here is a moving and comforting read. For everyone else, it is an education. And while punchier and more political than most nature writing, this book is a thing of beauty. The imagery is vivid enough to make you feel pulled to the Pennines as Sethi was — if not for the spectacular scenery, then for the introspection that comes along the way. If you make it to the end without booking a trip there, you might be in the minority.
... a heartfelt examination of identity, place and belonging, and [Sethi's] discovery of greater peace of mind by drawing on the healing powers of nature ... Sethi makes no secret of her novice status as a walker and naturalist, which makes her account of her expedition that much more relatable ... it is the way Sethi’s connection to nature is refracted through her experience as a woman of colour that gives the book its rare power. Her analysis of language is particularly acute ... Sethi poignantly lays bare the aftershocks of the crime perpetrated by her abuser.
Sethi unpacks the traumatic legacy of racism, the scars her experiences have left, and the survival strategies she has learned. Fluidly balancing searing examinations of racial justice with lush descriptions of natural wonders like the waterfall gurgling in Hull Pot chasm, Sethi finds solace in her explorations of nature.