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Miracle Country: A Memoir

av Kendra Atleework

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6432321,013 (3.99)5
"Miracle Country captures one family's spirit and losses in a harsh landscape that has been shaped and exploited over hundreds of years, and chronicles the author's journey as she realizes that there's nowhere else in the country, no matter how green and welcoming, that feels like home"--
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» Se även 5 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 32 (nästa | visa alla)
Beautiful, poetic prose brings out the emotion of living in a mountain desert community. ( )
  libq | Feb 3, 2021 |
I am sorry to say that I just could not get into this book- ( )
  kyurenka | Feb 1, 2021 |
I don't remember the last time I read a memoir. Probably never. This memoir was touching. It was part history, part family and how they are intertwined forever.

I'm not that familiar with this area called Swall Meadows in Owen's Valley, where Kendra grew up. I have visited Big Pine, Bishop and Mammoth Mountain, which is nearby, once before, a long, long time ago. I was in my teens and my family were visiting with the family of my mom's high school friend. From what I remember, the area was absolutely beautiful.

I enjoyed reading this book especially the historical aspects. It was interesting reading about Mulholland and his impact on Owen's Valley. I liked the parts about The Whaley House in San Diego, which I have toured once and thoroughly enjoyed. Kendra's writing is amazing! She has a way with words that brought this book to life.

My favorite quote in the book is by Rebecca Solnit: "To forget the past is to forgo your sense of loss and at the same time to lose "a set of clues to navigate the present by."" This is so fitting for all decades of life. History should not be erased but remembered, good or bad, we need it. ( )
  PrettyTarantula | Dec 30, 2020 |
Author [[Kendra Atleework]] grew up in the eastern side of California’s Sierra Madre range in the Owens Valley.

She lost her mother while in her teens. With her death, her adventurous, outdoor loving family lost their center and gradually fell apart, each struggling in their own way.

Atleework left the valley for a while pursuing a graduate degree in Minnesota; but the valley called her back and she returned with new eyes to appreciate it.

The book also details the history of the Valley. The native Paiutes were massacred. What was once lush land became desert as the water rights in the valley were acquired by Los Angeles and transferred there via aqueduct for their ever larger population’s unquenchable thirst.

It’s also a story of climate change; the opening chapter is a horrific wild fire, which spared Atleework’s childhood home and brought heroic efforts from her troubled adopted brother.

Is the author writing a parallel story with the loss of the water in the Valley and the loss of a nurturing mother? I’ll leave you to decide.

Recommended for those interested in family memoirs and the Sierra Madres.

I received an audio copy of this book through LIbraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an unbiased review. Cassandra Campbell was the narrator and did a fine job. ( )
  streamsong | Dec 27, 2020 |
A dreamy, lyrical memoir about growing up in the Eastern Sierras, a rugged land full of beauty and history and plagued by disaster. Between wildfires, mudslides, earthquakes, and shrinking water tables life in this unusual landscape is stark and hard. But there is a force, a draw from deep within the land itself that fills its residents with a sense of home.

The author uses the living country of her youth to anchor this story about the love and bonds of family and the eternal weight of grief and loss. At the heart of the narrative is the sudden illness and steady decline of her mother, who died when she was in high school. In the wake of this departure, the family fragments and the author leaves her hometown for many years.

Eventually she returns and finds much to learn and much to fight for. This is the land that her mother loved, and it is a storied and complex place. Shaped by water rights and growing more and more difficult to maintain by the year. ( )
  Juva | Nov 25, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 32 (nästa | visa alla)
...rare trifecta that seamlessly blends personal narrative with historical nonfiction and highly charged, activist-style rhetoric with rarely a misstep or heavy hand.
 
...the history of the land, the indignous Paiute people and figures such as William Mulholland intertwine with Atleework’s own story, including the death of her mother, which occurred when the author was a teenager....
 
...Her ability to relay naturalistic majesty in exquisite detail is dynamic yet tender, resulting in captivating storytelling....Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.
 
...ambitious, beautiful debut....Atleework’s remarkable prose renders the ordinary wondrous and firmly puts this overlooked region of California onto the map. ...
tillagd av juniperSun | ändraPublishers Weekly (May 11, 2020)
 
... A bittersweet tribute to home and family in breathtaking prose...beautifully crafted writing.
 
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The valley lay dry that winter, and wind roared over the mountains.
Preface: I have a photograph of my mother on a rock ledge over water somewhere in the mountains.
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"Miracle Country captures one family's spirit and losses in a harsh landscape that has been shaped and exploited over hundreds of years, and chronicles the author's journey as she realizes that there's nowhere else in the country, no matter how green and welcoming, that feels like home"--

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