Through a tenderly woven collection of essays that blend personal reflections with spirituality, philosophy, animal behaviorism, evolution, geology and ecology, first-time author Stuckey explores the great rift between the living, breathing world and the modern culture bent on developing and destroying it. Stuckey, who has a Midwestern Mennonite background, and holds a Ph.D. in religious studies and feminist theory, uses her experiences with loss and illness to demonstrate the healing power of nature. On her path to solace, using her keen grasp on history, religion, and earth sciences, Stuckey pursues big-picture enlightenment through friendship and communication with creeks, trees, trails, and, most often, with animals. The narratives are well paced, using flashbacks wisely, and the language lyrical, possessing a poet’s cleverness of rhythm. If the reader is not moved to relocate to the wilderness or at least to plant a tree, it might have something to do with Stuckey’s consultation of a variety of New Age healers, one of whom teaches her how to communicate with animals via a telepathic exchange of pictures—such moments undermine the effectiveness of an otherwise entertaining and emotionally resonant book. Agent: Kristina Holmes, the Holmes Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012 Release date: 08/01/2012 Genre: Nonfiction
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