Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams

genre: non-fiction

The Hour of Land is Terry Tempest Williams' musings on our National Parks and on the essential role that wilderness plays (or should play or should be allowed to play) in our national psyche and conscience.

The chapters are divided by National Park and cover a wide range - demonstrating how ridiculously varied and beautiful our nation's land is.  From the shores of Florida to the wilds of Glacier Park and the fields of Gettsysburg, her firsthand knowledge and experiences are the foundation of each essay. While some parts are a love letter to the spaces she finds most glorious - even more, each chapter is a discussion of that park's issues, how human policies and choices have affected and continue to affect these sites that belong to all of us. I liked some more than others - and truthfully, as much as one paragraph could move me to tears with its beauty, the next just made me depressed and hopeless.

This woman has a powerful way with words and imagery and she absolutely captures the magic and majesty of our shared spaces.  I get what she's trying to do and I know there is truth her idea that we need to worry more about protecting the parks instead of just celebrating them. I just was looking for more celebration, which is more a problem of my expectations for the book as opposed to a lack in the writing.

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