A TIMES AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR

'Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched ... a convincing plea for a wilder, richer world' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

'By the time I'd read the first chapter, I'd resolved to take my son into the woods every afternoon over winter. By the time I'd read the sixth, I was wanting to break prisoners out of cells and onto the mossy moors. Losing Eden rigorously and convincingly tells of the value of the natural universe to our human hearts' Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun

Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves?

Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Travelling from forest schools in East London to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and ecotherapists' couches, Jones takes us to the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and discovers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the earth.

Urgent and uplifting, Losing Eden is a rallying cry for a wilder way of life - for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees - which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.
“Words matter, and in this book, 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 . . . We’re running out of time, as we well know, and in some measure Jones’s admirable synthesis of research serves chiefly to insist, passionately, on the paramount importance of the earth’s well-being. She appeals to the child in each of us to rekindle our sense of awe at the natural world.”
—Harper’s Magazine

“Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched. An elegy to the healing power of nature, something we need more than ever in our anxiety-ridden world of ecological loss. A convincing plea for a wilder, richer world.”
—Isabella Tree, author of Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm
 
“A passionate and thorough exploration of the growing scientific evidence showing why humans require other species to stay well.”
—The Guardian
 
“A heartfelt love letter to the outdoors.”
—The Daily Mail
 
“Compelling . . . The book is not really a memoir; it’s about all of us.”
—The Times Literary Supplement
 
“Wonderfully intoxicating. 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, and how and why it does.”
—The Irish Times
 
“Fascinating . . . Written in such lush, vivid prose that reading it—especially while marooned in a big city under lockdown—one can feel transported and restored.”
—New Statesman
 
“Jones unpicks the science in accessible, moving writing . . . Beautifully written.”
—The Observer, Book of the Day
 
“Fascinating. The connection between mental health and the natural world turns out to be strong and deep—which is good news in that it offers those feeling soul-sick the possibility that falling in love with the world around them might be remarkably helpful.”
—Bill McKibben