Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay, by Julie Zickefoose, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, 2019, 272 pages, $25.
In Julie Zickefoose’s latest book, the artist and wildlife rehabilitator tells the story of Jemima, a young Blue Jay that came into her care. She fed it, raised it, released it, and nursed it back to health after a brush with a deadly disease. Considering the neighborhood Sharp-shinned Hawk, Zickefoose writes, “I can only describe the process of raising a bird for release as a prolonged lesson in letting go.” Zickefoose shares other lessons she learned from the experience, including that subtle markings around the face and throat can distinguish individual jays. A fascinating, honest, and heartfelt read.