Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills

Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills

by Lisa Dale Norton, Lisa Dale Norton
     
 

As seen through the eyes of dreaming child--and the experienced eyes of a wounded woman who returns home to heal herself--Hawk Flies Above offers a natural history of a place and a soul set on the rolling prairie dunes of Nebraska. After years of aimless travel and heavy drinking, a violent event sends Lisa Norton careening toward a home where she could recover…  See more details below

Overview

As seen through the eyes of dreaming child--and the experienced eyes of a wounded woman who returns home to heal herself--Hawk Flies Above offers a natural history of a place and a soul set on the rolling prairie dunes of Nebraska. After years of aimless travel and heavy drinking, a violent event sends Lisa Norton careening toward a home where she could recover herself, understand her family, and bear witness to a fragile, threatened land. Illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Part memoir, part nature essay, a roundabout search for a place of one's own—in this case, on the high plains of Nebraska.

In this debut book, Norton writes of returning home from years of wandering to "an aging reservoir on the Cedar River, part marsh, part bass lake, wellspring of my childhood memories." Her travels from coast to coast, she writes, had given her a close-up look at the blue highways and backroads of America, an education in the art of rootlessness. They also delivered an apprenticeship "in the field of emotion, learning the nuances of sadness, depression, joy, and loss. I was a tabula rasa, allowing the world to etch its patterns into me." Sadness outweighed joy, and her apprenticeship led to a sickness of the soul, especially after she was raped and then, for years, tried to bury the horrible memory in drink. "For long years I felt afloat without mooring, without anchor," she writes, until she finally returned to that place of childhood pleasures, a lean place "not quite desert, yet no oasis either." Her account of finding a restorative haven on familiar ground, among kin and friends, moves her slender book from the nature shelf to that devoted to recovery, and it is a very worthy addition to that library. As nature essay, though, Norton's book also succeeds; she writes affectingly of the plants and animals that inhabit the place—cedars, cranes, curlews, cottonwoods, sand roses, and other manifestations of "simple beauty"—and of the cowboys and farmers who work the land. These are all matters that can be written of well only after long study and close observation, and it is clear that Norton has done her homework and paid attention.

This book merits a place alongside the work of Terry Tempest Williams (who encouraged her) and Annie Dillard.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312168612
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/22/1997
Pages:
219
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.66(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >