I never liked science in school. Not for me. Yet now as an adult it seems that some of my favorite books are about science. Lab Girl is a hybrid between memoir and popular science book about plants- specifically trees! Hope Jahren’s story was incredible. She talks about living with bipolar disorder and at becoming a scientist at a time when it was less common for women. The chapters alternate between the author describing an aspect of tree life and then applying the analogy to her own life memoir style. Lab Girl blossoms with alluring language and imagery to describe life.
Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.
The book takes us from her childhood through present day running Jahren Lab in Hawaii with this crazy guy named Bill. Bill may in fact be the most interesting character in the entire book. Hope meets him while in school when she sees him digging holes everywhere and convinces him to work at a lab with her because he is the best in their class. His quirkiness continues throughout the book and gave me quite a few laughs. Nothing Bill said or did could top the monkey story though. Just wait. Read it because I have no words… no words at all!
Read this and then go plant a tree!