The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Rating: 3/5

What It’s About:

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.


A Little Background Info

First, let me set the scene…I had caught COVID and was quarantined at home. My husband was working his 12 hour shifts and my daughter was staying with her grandma while I recovered. Luckily, my symptoms were mostly limited to fever, congestion, and fatigue. The first few days I couldn’t do much, but towards the end I was feeling better. This book was short and I felt a little connection to the author because we were both stuck at home.

The Review

The book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was such a pleasant surprise to read. First, it was a short book with about 200 pages and I was able to read it quickly. The authors writing style was very eloquent and descriptive. Bailey had moments in the story where she talked about the difficulties of being bedridden and how she coped with the limitations and loneliness. And since I was also lonely, it brought me comfort.


But the story really shined when she developed a heartwarming companionship with the little snail. I felt like I was there in the room watching the snail live it’s life. There were several times when I felt an attachment to the snail. Its behaviors would make me smile, laugh, or worry about it’s health.

The author did a lot of research about snails and included short passages from studies and publications. Some of those parts were a bit tedious (but easy to skim) and often were quite interesting. I’m not normally a nonfiction reader, but the pacing and content was interesting enough to keep me going until the end. It was a sweet, thought provoking book and I’m glad that I got a chance to read Elisabeth’s story.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.


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