Thursday, February 20, 2014

Recent Reads: Gaining Daylight by Sara Loewen

I am a frequent reader of 49 Writers and it was from this site that I learned about Sarah Loewen, an Alaskan writer who was one of their featured writers in 2013.  I enjoyed the essays on writing that she contributed there and was intrigued to read her book, Gaining Daylight: Life on two Islands. 

Sarah has a way of pulling the reader into her life, her islands, her home.  In Gaining Daylight her essays focus on her life as a mother and a wife for part of the year on Kodiak Island, AK, and continue to follow her life at her family’s fishing site on Uyak Bay, a much more secluded location, where they travel for part of the year for her husband’s work as a commercial fisherman.   Her life revolves around these two places and includes going back and forth between a modern life and one that follows more old fashioned ways of living.

Since I have young children and work towards being a writer I was connected to her essays and her struggles with balancing the two on top of work, marriage, and some kind of leisure time. Plus both of our husbands do a lot of fishing, mine more with a fly rod. Composed in her essays about her life and her husband’s occupation as a commercial fisherman, Loewen writes about her connection to her natural world including the discomforts that can arise, even in a place one considers as home.  Amidst the history and stories about her life on her two islands is Loewen’s steady voice that causes one to pause and take a look at their surroundings, consider life in the past, and to appreciate each day as they move and change with the seasons.

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