06 January 2012

Imprint Friday: Kayak Morning by Roger Rosenblatt

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Ecco books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Every once in a while I run across a book that is so full of truth and beauty, I want to underline every passage. Roger Rosenblatt's Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats is the perfect example.

From Roger Rosenblatt, author of the bestsellers Making Toast and Unless It Moves the Human Heart, comes a moving meditation on the passages of grief, the solace of solitude, and the redemptive power of love

In Making Toast, Roger Rosenblatt shared the story of his family in the days and months after the death of his thirty-eight-year-old daughter, Amy. Now, in Kayak Morning, he offers a personal meditation on grief itself. “Everybody grieves,” he writes. From that terse, melancholy observation emerges a work of art that addresses the universal experience of loss.

On a quiet Sunday morning, two and a half years after Amy’s death, Roger heads out in his kayak. He observes,“You can’t always make your way in the world by moving up. Or down, for that matter. Boats move laterally on water, which levels everything. It is one of the two great levelers.” Part elegy, part quest, Kayak Morning explores Roger’s years as a journalist, the comforts of literature, and the value of solitude, poignantly reminding us that grief is not apart from life but encompasses it. In recalling to us what we have lost, grief by necessity resurrects what we have had.
Like the dawn sunlight glittering on the ocean's surface, Rosenblatt's thoughts touch his grief only where it's risen to the surface, but that's enough illumination to steer by. His meditations bounce off different aspects of his life, highlighting how grief and love and memory are intertwined.

Kayak Morning is sad without being depressing; it is hopeful without being sappy; it is beautiful.
Love conquers death. No celestial jury will bring Amy back to me. I will not see her either, no matter how others may want me to. She will not talk to me. But in the time since she died, I have been aware, every minute, of my love for her. She lives in my love. (p. 146)
Here are some other thoughts (click on the links for the full review):
  • Beatriz Terrazas, writing for the Dallas Morning News: "One might think a book about loss would be heavy, unwieldy. But like his boat, Rosenblatt maneuvers readers deftly into the emotional depths and back out again, so that the book never becomes overwhelming."
  • Craig Wilson, writing for USA Today: "Rosenblatt [has written] what can only be described as a meditation on the universal experience of grief."
  • From Publishers Weekly's starred review: "The lyrical nature of the piece, which combines short vignettes, poetic verses, snippets of conversations and meaningful quotations, allows Rosenblatt’s masterful writing skills to shine."
Beth Fish Reads is proud to showcase Ecco books as a featured imprint on this blog. For more information about Ecco, please read the introductory note from Vice President / Associate Publisher Rachel Bressler, posted here on July 15, 2011. Find your next great read by clicking on Ecco in the scroll-down topics/labels list in my sidebar and by visiting Ecco books on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Kayak Morning at Powell's
Kayak Morning at Book Depository
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Published by HarperCollins / Ecco, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780062084033


caite 1/6/12, 7:36 AM  

What a beautifully written review.
It certainly sounds like a winner.

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/6/12, 8:08 AM  

What a lovely review! I read MAKING TOAST and thought is was so moving, I will definitely add this one to my TBR list.

Daryl 1/6/12, 9:02 AM  

Sounds quite good .. on to the reading list it goes!

Zibilee 1/6/12, 10:23 AM  

Oh, this does sound like a beautiful and moving book. I think it's so interesting the way that different people respond to grief, and for that alone, I would pick this book up. Your inclusion of the final quote seals it for me though. Just so evocative and humbling. Amazing review today.

Peggy@Peggy Ann's Post 1/6/12, 10:57 AM  

Sounds like a wonderful read Beth! I will look for it.

Unknown 1/6/12, 11:04 AM  

This sounds like such a beautiful book. Your review is so lovely and sensitive too. Thanks for sharing, I'll keep this book in mind, we've had a lot of grief in our family this past year, my mom lost two sisters and then my older sister died in December.

bermudaonion 1/6/12, 11:40 AM  

This sounds like a beautiful book!

Barbara 1/6/12, 11:41 AM  

Sometimes loss doesn't involve death, but rather the loss of what one loved previously but is unable to do currently. One grieves for that kind of loss as well. I very much like the sound of this book and will look for it ASAP.

Unknown 1/6/12, 11:47 AM  

Sounds like a very moving book and one worth reading.

Vasilly 1/6/12, 1:45 PM  

This book sounds so beautiful. Thanks for highlighting it.

Beth Hoffman 1/6/12, 2:05 PM  

Oh my gosh, right when I tell myself that I absolutely cannot add one more book to my list, you lure me in. LOL This book sounds wonderful!

Julie P. 1/6/12, 3:53 PM  

Such beautiful prose!

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