Book Club review – Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn

We met on 21st November to discuss “Islands of Abandonment” by Cal Flyn, which explores (often literally) places around the world that for different reasons have become depopulated and abandoned by human society. She documents how they have become unintended habitats for wild plants and animals and developed their own ecosystems.

The author tries to conclude on a positive note – that nature can recover and thrive even in seemingly inhospitable and “unnatural” landscapes – but after reading the book we were left with rather more negative mood despite the fact that Islands of Abandonment is an impressive piece of research blended with compelling first hand accounts. We do not seem to be learning the lessons that these places can tell us about the effects of war, social neglect, and willful pollution. There is also a feeling of foreboding that our populated spaces are increasingly at risk of becoming future examples of abandonment as climate breakdown continues.

We are hoping to choose a more upbeat title for the next session, so if you want to join us at Book Club please send an email to 2G3S with “Book Club”in the title (so we can let you know of any changes and future events). We meetroughly every 3 months. The next book club meeting is scheduled for 20th February – see our events section for details.