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A Coming of Age

Written By: Stu Harris

Published by: Little Egret Press

Date of publication: 2017

The second book from traditional angler Stuart Harris has long been anticipated by many.

The book itself is smartly presented, professionally structured and retains an informal and personal feel, indeed quite identical to the writing style of the author.  Special mention must also be given to the many illustrations from Adam Entwistle that populate the pages.

Having read his first book (From Carbon to Cane), the title of this latest publicaton is reflected quite clearly in the maturation of Stuart Harris’ writing.  Unnecessary diction is replaced with more appropriate and clear choices, all without affecting his narrative style.

Each chapter describes a trip to a particular location, often with a target species in mind.  The author’s style ensures a lack of repetition, yet maintains a welcome feeling of familiarity and comfort – much like an old pair of slippers.  The reader is left feeling as if beside him on the bank, inhaling every scent, hearing every sound and holding every fish.

There is a clear skill within the writing ability of the author by juxtaposing one specie or venue against another, whilst maintaining the highest level of importance and respect; Gudgeon fished for as fondly as Leney Carp and the River Wallington as respected as Redmire Pool.

Throughout the book we are given glimpses of Stuart Harris the person, rather than the author or angler.  A chapter dedicated to his final trip with close friend Richard Crimp shortly before he passed away through illness brings a lump to one’s throat and a tear to the eye.

As with any diarised writing, you sense you are following a journey and this is no different.  However, you actually feel part of this journey, and there is a sense of revelation as you reach the conclusion.  Here, the author glances back fondly on what has passed and looks to the future as he welcomes his new born son into the world, leaving a perfect opportunity for future writing.

This is a heart-warming book that can be returned to with ease; whether researching a venue, particular species or just wanting to reignite that relaxed and nostalgic feeling so often lost in modern angling.