Lucy Jones’s impassioned exhortation Losing Eden may feel inevitable and hence almost extraneous. And yet her argument is both urgent and complex ... Jones conveys in evocative prose the exuberance of her own rediscovery of nature’s wondrousness, a significant component in her recovery from struggles with addiction and depression ... Jones’s compelling and wide-ranging investigation [is] marred only by a prologue and an epilogue that feel too cute ... Jones’s admirable synthesis of research serves chiefly to insist, passionately, on the paramount importance of the earth’s well-being.
The book is not really a memoir; it’s about all of us ... If the solution to the crisis of modern living starts to seem simple and obvious, that we all just need more nature in our lives, Jones is also documenting nature’s decline ... In the fictional epilogue, Jones has been buoyed by a shift in awareness.
Losing Eden takes an attentive look at a particular iteration of our condition under the anthropocene: our disconnect from the living world, and the effect this has on our mental health. In meticulous detail, Jones quests to bring us an impressive array of answers to the question of whether 'nature connection' has a tangible effect on our minds ... Her results are compelling ... This book will convince you that nature is an intrinsic part of ourselves ... I found myself wanting more of the good stuff, wishing the 'numinous' Jones finds in nature had suffused the text more. She moves a little stiffly between enquiry and illustrative prose ... Jones is at best when she touches the wonder in the living world that is of crucial importance to her quest, but her astonishment sometimes doesn’t quiver through ... This is a book you read if you still need convincing, although it is so thorough that it is also sure to fill any gaps in anyone’s knowledge, and fix itself as a handy reference compendium for the bookshelf, a doorstop of studies to throw at people telling you time spent in the living world is an indulgence.