Restoring Eden

“Illustrating the catastrophic impact of agricultural chemicals on one farm, Restoring Eden conveys a stirring, forceful message about the environmental health of the planet”

Restoring Eden from Chicago Review Press. Available wherever books are sold.

Hilborn draws us into life on her farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina. With lyrical nature writing, she shows us a vibrant world filled with wildlife, native plants, food and flower gardens. Everything changed in the spring of 2017, when she found a wetland near her home still and silent. Within weeks the bees, butterflies and other flying insects disappeared from her farm. Then the birds and bats left.

Hilborn reached out to her neighbors, to local experts and officials, but no one could tell her what had happened. Traumatized by the poisoning of her land and grieving the loss of the animals she couldn’t save, Hilborn searched to find the killer. What she learned affects all of us all: the future of our food supply is at stake. Part investigative journalism, part memoir, and part popular science, Hilborn ultimately offers hope for a healthy and secure food future and shows how change is possible.

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“A beautifully descriptive, lyrical immersion in the natural world that’s coupled with a detective story, reminiscent of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL

“An environmental memoir that stirs emotions with the author’s enormous empathy for the wildlife who share her land.” — BOOKLIST

A thoroughly engrossing environmental murder mystery that challenges accepted wisdom and exposes the toxic price of conventional farming.” —David R. Montgomery, MacArthur Fellow and co-author of What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health and author of Growing a Revolution

Restoring Eden is a passionate, science-based, ecological detective story that teaches us to observe nature, to notice when things are amiss, and to right wrongs. As she discovered the sources of agricultural chemicals extinguishing life in her wetland, Hilborn reveals the personal tolls the loss exacts and the costs she endures to coax neighboring farmers to rethink their practices for the health of their interconnected realms.” —John M. Marzluff, author of Gifts of the Crow and In Search of Meadowlarks

Hilborn tackles one of the great issues of our times in a novelistic way that sucked me in the further I read. It is a beautiful melding of our need for home in the context of love for life in nature and raises the alarm about problems of modern culture associated with the widespread industrialization of agriculture.” —Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven and Bumblebee Economics

Restoring Eden is a must read. In its pages you will discover the secret agribusiness toxic chemicals that are contaminating the lives of everyone they touch. This means you. If you think this is someone else’s problem, or that you’re safe because you eat organic, read this. If you think one person can’t make a difference, read this. If you think one community can’t come together, read this. We owe big thanks to Elizabeth Hilborn for her courage, tenacity, and love of life in all its forms.” —Hob Osterlund, APRN, Senior Fellow, Safina Center, author of Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Ancestors

“I generally avoid the overused phrase ‘page-turner.’ But Restoring Eden is indeed a page-turner. Beautifully written, passionate, compassionate, deeply human, and deeply informed, this superb and crucial book should not be necessary—but it is. Very. The stakes could not be higher; Life itself is at stake and we are all involved.” —Carl Safina, MacArthur Fellow and author of Beyond Words and Becoming Wild

“When Elizabeth Hilborn sets out to protect a struggling wetland on her North Carolina farm, she discovers that its fate — and her care for it — is shaped by family histories, neighborly relations, the limits of science, and the long reach of global agribusiness. Restoring Eden is a mystery, a memoir, a warning, and a powerful testament to one person’s stubborn love for a place and all its inhabitants.
Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction