The full title of Far Flung by Cassandra Kircher is Far Flung: Improvisations on National Parks, Driving to Russia, Not Marrying a Ranger, The Language of Heartbreak, and Other National Disasters. Boy, that's a mouthful, isn't it?
So, I'll just drop the subtitle for the rest of this review. Far Flung is an exceptional series of essays set in a variety of locations, most of which deal with how nature had an impact on the author's life and her acceptance and understanding of herself and her family (particularly her difficult, emotional father). Settings include Wisconsin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Alaska, and Oxford, England.
I think anyone who loves camping, climbing, or otherwise challenging his or herself outdoors will especially love Far Flung, although I'm someone who desires to be outdoors more than I'm able (thanks to allergies and heat-induced migraines). I was particularly enamored with the settings. Rocky Mountain National Park is where I spent roughly half of my childhood vacations and, in fact, my great uncle was one of the people who died in the Big Thompson Canyon Flood, which Kircher mentions, so her essays set in RMNP really took me back and were particular favorites. And, I've been to most of the other settings, so there was a little bit of a cool factor there, as well. But, it would not have mattered one bit where she the writings were set because Kircher's writing is so incredibly strong that I would have been blown away, regardless. It just happens that I could relate to some of the locations.
Highly recommended, a new favorite - Deeply meaningful, muscular but subtle. Absolutely fabulous, mesmerizing writing. I hated for this book to end. I particularly recommend Far Flung to anyone who loves travel writing, essays, or memoirs. But, just read it if you love fantastic writing. One of my favorite reads of 2019, so far. I feel like I can't do this one justice.
I was one of the lucky people who won a copy of Far Flung via a Shelf Awareness drawing. My thanks to West Virginia University Press! I'll be looking to see what else you have to offer.
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