Saturday, May 7, 2016

what I've been reading

"Trespass, living at the edge of the promised land" by Amy Irvine.

This book is a memoir, which are usually my favorite kind of books, but this one was depressing because of the author's insistence on being unhappy.

Her story begins a few weeks after her fathers death by suicide. She doesn't mention her age at the time but I'm guessing mid to late thirties. 

Feeling disconnected and restless she moves to Utah with her patient and understanding boyfriend.
Both work for a wilderness preservation organization, and part of her boyfriend's work includes inspecting public lands to see if it's being improperly used.

Because of this they do lots of hiking and beautiful and unspoiled red rock canyon country.
The author describes the scenery without one iota of joy or enthusiasm.

She can't be happy there because surely it will eventually be ruined by humans.

She can't be happy camping at Lake Powell because she was with her grandmother the first time she saw the lake and now her grandmother is dead.

She can't be happy with any social activity, because they are in Mormon country and she is no longer a practicing Mormon.  She wants to be accepted but is rude and defensive when others inquire about her beliefs.

She gets pregnant, and though it's what she wanted, she spends her days in a dark cellar, sleeping and not answering the phone.

She and her boyfriend get married and that seems to make her unhappy too.

So why did I continue reading this book? There were just enough interesting parts to get me through it. 

 Ms Irvine wrote some interesting history about the original natives that once lived in the area.
Also about her own family history - an ancestor who was with the original group of Mormons who made their way to Utah and started a community there.

She described the struggles of the wilderness preservation organization...trying to protect land and artifacts from being plundered and misused.

I have to say Ms Irvine is a good writer...but a little too far "out there" sometimes.
I know people get depressed, but her story would have been so much better if she didn't drag the reader into her depression as well.

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