06 Jan Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
By Terry Tempest Williams
Williams deals with loss on many levels in her moving account of her mother’s cancer and the rising of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Each chapter (except for one) is named after one of Williams’ favorite bird species as well as a notation explaining the level of the lake. These set the scene for each chapter as Williams uses what is happening in the natural world a metaphor for what is going on in her life.
This book is beautifully written and incorporates natural history stories with personal, human stories. The takeaway point, that our lives are not as separate from the natural world as we might believe, is refreshing and eye-opening.
Terry Tempest Williams writes about losing her cherished bird sanctuary as well as her cherished mother. As a Mormon naturalist, her spiritual and religious connections as well as her knowledge as a naturalist, give the reader a unique insight into the natural world. She is a strong woman who has experienced loss in many ways and continues to see the beauty that life and the human spirit have to offer.
This book will be discussed at Nature’s Narratives Book Discussion Group on January 10 from 5 to 6 pm. Please register to join us for the discussion and check out the other must-reads as part of this group!