Cop26 brings the environment into tight focus, making me think of novels I’ve read that have highlighted the fragile links between humans and the natural world.

The first novelist to spring to my mind is Barbara Kingsolver. Her Flight Behavior is an engaging tale of migratory butterflies displaced from Mexico. That might not sound like the best plot but under Kingsolver’s ecologist hands the story blends mankind’s awe at the spectacle of millions of butterflies turning up in rural Tennessee with the mix of difficult marriage, adultery and pursuing a lofty cause.

Overstory by Richard Powers tells of trees and the people who owe an aspect of their life to trees and vow to protect them. Reading this novel was the first time I came across the concept of trees communicating with each other through their roots. It felt like such an outlandish notion, fictional even, but the idea has grown credence with evidence that trees warn each other of danger and nourish weaker plants  by channelling nutrients their way.

I haven’t read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for decades. However, the novel brought a distant land and time to my own Scottish door as I followed the Joad family from dustbowl Oklahoma, a land drained of nutrients by over farming. Steinbeck shows us what happens when we can no longer support ourselves from the land.

Interestingly, all these novels are set in the United States, and I struggle to think of any British with such a strong environmental message. Can you help? I’d love to read your suggestions.