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When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

If beauty moves you, this is book needs to be your next pick. From its stunning cover to the depth and splendor of Williams’ writing, this titled moved me again and again. Williams opens the book with a succinct scene from her mother’s last days before dying of cancer. In a last conversation, Williams’ mother tells Terry that she is leaving Terry her journals with the simple instruction that Terry must not open them until she is gone. Terry pays heed and opens the diaries after her mother’s death only to find that they are blank—all of them. The finding, Williams says, sent her into a “double grief.” This book is about the journey Williams’ goes through to fill in those journals. It is a mediation on voice and understanding. It is a tribute to flight and identity, to seeking and exploring, to family reconciliation and letting go. And always, to the ways that observation, nature, and noticing can be their own reaching tools--to filling in and finding knowing and seeing beauty in the most remarkable of places.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250024114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - February 26th, 2013