cover image Limber: Essays

Limber: Essays

Angela Pelster. Sarabande (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-936747-75-7

Pelster's essay collection, her second book after the children's novel, The Curious Adventures of India Sophia, proves nimble and curious, with essays on subjects such as: trees, mortality, decay, and history. Whether Pelster is talking about an old mining town buried alive, a tree that belonged only to itself, or a mother buried with her children in the desert, her prose invites the reader to pause and wonder. Some essays, such as "By Way of the Beginning," "Temple," and "Rot," combine moments both mundane and sublime: the memory of beliefs we wish we'd never had, raking leaves, and caterpillars in the summer. Pelster questions our mortality, how we define ourselves, and faith; and has fun doing so. Though the collection contains hits and misses, the highlight, "How Trees Came to Be in the World," feels like an atom's-eye view of evolution. The book is sure to appeal to those who are interested in nature writing and, with its mystical feel%E2%80%94"chart[ing] the world's history through its trees"%E2%80%94to fans of creative nonfiction as well. (Apr.)