Book Review: Diving for Seahorses – The Science and Secrets of Memory

Author: Hilde Østby and Ylva Østby, translated by Marianne Lindvall
Publisher: NewSouth

How did we come to remember things? Are human memories so vastly different to animal ones?

How do we remember, and why do we forget?

Diving for Seahorses is an exquisite expedition into the heart of these ideas, led by a team of Norwegian sisters: Hilde and Ylva Østby. Ylva is a neuropsychologist, a leading expert in the field of memory research; Hilde is a novelist, translating Ylva’s science into narrative.

It is hard to tell how much the book’s beauty should be credited to the translator, but whether Hilde or Marianne is responsible, the use of creative metaphor helps to better explain the science. Some of these flourishes are a little overwrought, but not often enough to be distracting.

More than a survey of past and current research, Diving for Seahorses includes experiments conducted by the Østbys to investigate others’ findings. It is a delightful, zippy read, driven by wonder. And you’ll need to read it yourself to discover the secrets of those titular seahorses.

Adelaide In-depth

Get the latest stories, insights and exclusive giveaways delivered straight to your inbox every week.