LITERATURE

Like Streams to the Ocean: Notes on Ego, Love, and the Things That Make Us Who We Are

Convergent. Feb. 2021. 272p. ed. by ed. by Jennifer Haupt. ISBN 9780593137239. $26. LIT
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Wilderness magazine executive editor Jenkins, known for his New York Times best-seller To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret, here writes a collection of essays, some previously published and others shared here for the first time, on what makes us who we are. These grounded meditations on life are rooted in the author’s own experiences; fearing rejection for being a gay Christian and identifying, and responding to, insecurities. These are among the subjects that Jenkins eloquently explores in chapters on ego, family, home, friendship, love, work, death, and the soul. His reflections on family are especially moving, as he illustrates the lessons involved with coming to terms with the past and reconnecting with siblings. Each chapter stands on its own, but together they bring insight into how we cope with life’s transitions. Similar to his previous book, Jenkins uses writing as a creative outlet, whether rediscovering his native Tennessee, exploring Vermont, or, ultimately, calling Los Angeles home. These are the strongest parts of the book, with the author considering the concept of home, and what belief and belonging means to him.
VERDICT Jenkins is a sincere writer, and his ability to make it feel as if he is talking to you directly will both attract longtime fans and engage new readers.

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