Synopses & Reviews
In her luminous new book, renowned nature writer Sue Halpern tracks the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly, and introduces us to the scientists and amateurs who seek to address one of the abiding mysteries of nature.
Millions of monarchs migrate up to 2000 miles every autumn -- monarchs born east of the Rockies funnel into one tiny area of Mexico; those born to the west end up on the California coast. But how do they know when and where to travel? How do they navigate? Into the framework of one migratory cycle, Sue Halpern threads a tale of adventure and a glimpse into the frustrations, feuds, and fun of scientific inquiry. Four Wings and a Prayer is a beautifully written testament to the power of questions that may never be answered.
In her luminous new book, a renowned nature writer tracks the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly and introduces readers to the scientists and amateurs who seek to address one of the abiding mysteries of nature.
Halpern undertakes an enchanting study of the monarch butterfly: its awe-inspiring annual migration and the scientists and amateurs who are obsessed with this evanescent creature. Line drawings.
About the Author
Every autumn, the monarch butterflies east of the Rockies migrate from as far north as Canada to Mexico. Memory is not their guide — no one butterfly makes the round trip — but each year somehow find their way to the same fifty acres of forest on the high slopes of Mexicos Neovolcanic Mountains, and then make the return trip in the spring.
In Four Wings and a Prayer, Sue Halpern sets off on an adventure to delve into the secrets behind this extraordinary phenomenon. She visits scientists and butterfly lovers across the country, offering a keenly observed portrait of the monarchs migration and of the people for whom they have become a glorious obsession. Combining science, memoir, and travel writing, Four Wings and a Prayer is an absorbing travelogue and a fascinating meditation on a profound mystery of the natural world.