This slim book won the 2008 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize, a prize I had never heard of before. But after reading this beautiful collection of essays, I think I will have to search out other winners. The essays are generally chronological and take place in the quiet, amazing places found in nature and inside author Caswell's very soul. His descriptions are gorgeous and his personal introspections and gentle ruminations into the human spirit are completely appealing. He has captured varied places around the world on his tramps, offering up his life, his failed marriage, and his vision quest through his communes in nature. Reading this book is like accompanying Caswell at each place in his life, journeying along as an equal privy to all the beauty and all the pain.
I am afraid that I am making this sound dreadful and cliched when it really is a lovely, introspective sort of book. It is one to savour slowly and to appreciate fully. The beauty and peacefulness of the writing was soothing and majestic. If you enjoy contemplative sorts of books, this is definitely one to pick up and to lose yourself within the pages.
Thanks to author Kurt Caswell for sending me a copy of this book to review.