- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Ecco; Original edition (Jan. 3 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062084038
- ISBN-13: 978-0062084033
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 159 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #584,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats Paperback – Deckle Edge, Jan 3 2012
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From the Back Cover
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.
About the Author
Roger Rosenblatt is the author of six off-Broadway plays and eighteen books, including Lapham Rising, Making Toast, Kayak Morning and The Boy Detective. He is the recipient of the 2015 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Being out on the water is not an escape from grief but another opportunity to remember his daughter and....at least from this reader's perspective...to explore the depths of his loss while immersed in the natural world.
After his daughter's death, Rosenblatt believed that if he just " got on with it" the pain would somehow diminish. But it did not. So Rosenblattt seeks to transform his grief while kayaking.
Along the way, he is learning the difference between mourning, supported by others, and grieving ...alone. They may overlap. But mourning and grief are not the same.
The kayaking seems to help put everything into a deeper perspective. Meanwhile, Rosenblatt talks to Amy, recalls times they'd shared, lessons he learned from her. She is never far from his thoughts.
Scattered throughout the book are references and quotes from writers such as Melville and Wordsworth. In this way, Rosenblatt expands the whole grief process into more than a personal, individual one. He draws upon the varied perspectives of others.
But at the heart of Kayak Morning is Rosenblatt's ongoing struggle to come to terms with his loss. And he begins to see some rays of hope- or perhaps they are best described as moments of comfort. Recalling how much love his daughter shared with so many, he wonders if perhaps love can - in a way - conquer death. He carries his daughter's love with him and she "lives in his love".
So what does he conclude as the book comes to an end? How is he different? Begin this book, pause now and then to think about the words Rosenblatt writes so eloquently and you may well find comfort in sharing the journey with this author. I know I did as may others who have suffered the loss of someone dearly loved - and deeply missed. And I'll leave it to you to discover what the author concludes about his own loss.
I guess the main thing is that I was never drawn into the book. I felt like a not-quite-welcomed spectator, kinda like watching someone's life in 8mm in their parent's house.
The writing is mostly good, but it seems too ... academic, I guess. Kinda like forced reading from high school. Does anyone dare say they don't like it? Will the teacher smack a ruler on their desk?
Given that, there are some pearls of wisdom. And the kayaking aspect seems legit, similar to what I experience while kayaking.
This is a book about healing after a great loss. That takes time. And inner reflection. And trying to establish a "new normal" for your life. This book is best lingered over - not rushed through in an attempt to "get somewhere."
Don't expect to feel good -- but definitely expect to feel.
"Everyone is grieving," he finds. As a companion piece to his charming earlier book, Making Toast, about living with his widowed son-in-law and his young children, this poetic book rounds out a picture of his painful process of grief.
I will read this again and recommend it to grieving friends. Helpful for grieving people with an honest approach to the pain of loss.