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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