Our environmental prophet has been hard at work again, and this time, Bill Belleville gets personal on us. The true-blue Florida boy ("I've been sinking into Florida for decades now," is the opening of his introduction) shares the slow-heartbreak story of how he bought and lovingly restored a venerable Cracker house in Seminole County. Actually, to say Belleville did it with love is a gross understatement. He did it with the type of reverence that he holds for the Wekiva River and surrounding woods that was near his property, and the rest of natural Florida at large. The anguish comes in the form of big-box development that arrives in his driveway, and his decision to move on. Belleville weaves the details of the history of his Sanford home and the land it was built on into his own private memoirs. The result reads like poetry and feels like a prayer.
Losing It All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape
By Bill Belleville
(University Press of Florida, 199 pages)