cover image Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats

Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats

Roger Rosenblatt. Ecco, $12.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-208403-3

As a follow-up to Making Toast, this memoir is about asking questions that cannot be answered. Where Toast chronicled the aftermath of the author’s 38-year-old daughter’s death, this work explores little about how she died or what happened to those she left behind, but instead focuses on why Rosenblatt cannot come to terms with his grief two and half years later. As Rosenblatt, a writer and professor of English and writing at Stony Brook University, takes up kayaking near his home in Quogue on Long Island, he begins to contemplate his connection to nature and his place in it by observing the sea. The kayak becomes a metaphorical conveyance as he floats from one topic to the next, never anchoring on one thought for long, but instead conjuring elegiac prose on everything from life versus death to personal memories and classic literature. The lyrical nature of the piece, which combines short vignettes, poetic verses, snippets of conversations and meaningful quotations, allows Rosenblatt’s masterful writing skills to shine. In one instance, he describes how his two sons still stand as if their deceased sister is between them, and his words connect in a way that conveys his sadness but also affirms the goodness of life. (Jan.)