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Blue Rooms: Ripples, Rivers, Pools, and Other Waters
     

Blue Rooms: Ripples, Rivers, Pools, and Other Waters

by John Jerome
 

The earth is beautiful because of water, says John Jerome, who sets out to explore the most ravishing examples of the element he can find. The search takes him from Oklahoma swimming holes to Adirondack lakes, from Canada to the Caribbean and from his earliest water memories to his mature reflections on what it is about water in its natural state that humans find

Overview

The earth is beautiful because of water, says John Jerome, who sets out to explore the most ravishing examples of the element he can find. The search takes him from Oklahoma swimming holes to Adirondack lakes, from Canada to the Caribbean and from his earliest water memories to his mature reflections on what it is about water in its natural state that humans find so compelling.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Turning to the substance that is the source of all life, Jerome (Stone Work) once again demonstrates the humanity and story-telling skill with which he has turned subjects like delving into truck engines and building stone walls into absorbing lessons in life. To Jerome, water is interchangable with memory, both of which contain qualities of reflective clarity. Announcing that he is approaching his 60th birthday, Jerome sets out to stay overnight at a pond in New Hampshire. He gets reaquainted with the power of water to soothe and inspire, and is grateful to "be an old guy out paddling around in a pond just because it's such a pretty place to be." Splicing together new writings with versions of articles that appeared in Outside, the Boston Globe Magazine and elsewhere, he paints a glistening portrait of his life in water. Starting by revisiting Mountain Fork, the little Oklahoma river that introduced him to a love of water, Jerome tries to recapture his childhood ability to "explore every nuance of a stream." He describes many rivers, creeks, and swimming spots. He explains the physics of swimming, paddling and canoeing, layering in stories about his alcoholic father, his spirited mother and his own life. In this beatifully crafted work, Jerome proves that water carries memory and insight as surely as it carries sound. Rights (except electronic): George Borchardt. (June)
Library Journal
The author of books on wide-ranging subjects (Truck, Univ. Pr. of New England, 1996; Stone Work, LJ 5/1/89), Jerome examines water in a variety of forms from several perspectives. Much of this work is a recounting of his love affair with various childhood swimming holes, progressing to his present infatuation with canoeing in the Adirondacks and Canada and his trips to the Caribbean. Offering a series of vignettes, Jerome recounts much personal history. He does a good job of conveying the primal joy of swimming and the mixed emotions elicited by returning to visit cherished watery landmarks of his youth. Similar to Thomas Farber's On Water (Ecco, 1994) but differing in locale, this work is recommended for most public libraries.Tim J. Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Kirkus Reviews
An elegiac, deeply personal, discursive celebration of water and of those who are drawn to it.

Jerome (The Writing Trade, 1992; Stone Work, 1989; etc.), who notes that he has been "chasing after perfect waters all my life, pursuing . . . some holy grail of liquid perfection," isn't so much interested in an overview of water's physical qualities and characteristics as he is in exploring the ways in which water flows into our memories and shapes our imaginations. "Water," Jerome writes, "is always trying to tell us something." He attempts to puzzle out what that is by focusing on sites that have been important to him: the little-known Mountain Fork River in the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma, the subject of some idyllic childhood memories; the gentle, charming Deerfield River in New England; the powerful Raquette River in the Adirondacks; the famous clearwater springs of Florida where his mother loved to swim; the huge, magnificent lakes of eastern Canada; the warm, fertile Caribbean. Much of the book is given up to descriptions of time spent on these waters, usually in canoes, or in the wild land surrounding them, and to the memories of family and friends that the scenery evokes. Jerome's descriptions of natural landscapes are precise and exuberant, his portraits of those the trips cause him to remember frank and affectionate. While he weaves in a good many facts about the nature of rivers and lakes, it's clear that his primary concern is to puzzle out why his fascination with water, his "love affair' with it, has been so central an element in his life.

While there is no simple explanation forthcoming, Jerome's search has produced a robust, idiosyncratic, moving celebration of the natural world, of the rivers and lakes that form and sustain it, and of its ability to nourish and restore us.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805026207
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.83(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.93(d)

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