Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: The Solace of Open Spaces

The Solace of Open Spaces The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I requested this title in NetGalley, I did not realize it was an older book of essays coming up for a reprinting. I actually have another book from the author on my "around the world" shelves at home - This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland. So she was on my vague periphery, but I was very happy to have had a chance to read this book, even if it isn't new.

In the late 1970s, Ehrlich travels to Wyoming on a documentary assignment. Her then-lover ends up dying, and she just stays and stays. This book collects her writings about the wide-open, the west, the prairie, and the people who live there. I understand that she first wrote these as journal entries, then as letters, and eventually revised them into a publishable form.

I loved them. I loved her insight into the sometimes elusive ranchers, sheepherders, farmhands, and cowboys. I loved her insight into herself. I loved her attention to details in nature, her ability to stop, slow down, and pay attention. I didn't include any of those quotes here since technically I have a review copy, but may return to this space once it is back out.

Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media for the chance to read this forgotten gem.

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  1. I just listened to your recent podcast of Reading goals 2022. I enjoy making lists and goals also, knowing I can't complete them all. Like you, I can read one book about a place and then want to read more.I just finished An African in Greenland, and enjoyed it, but found it disturbing and wondered if a woman might offer another point of view. So I checked your lists and have requested above from library. You also mentioned Greenland by Gretel Ehrlich and I can't find it anywhere.Do you have any other suggestions? I could get lost in your blogs and podcasts. Amazing!

    1. One book I loved but is historical fiction and not ownvoices, if that matters to you, is The Thrall's Tale by Judith Lindbergh. It's about three Viking women during the time they tried to settle Greenland.

      For a much more modern novel by an actual Greenlander, try Last Night in Nuuk by
      Niviaq Korneliussen.


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