The Oasis This Time: Living and Dying with Water in the West

Torrey House. Mar. 2019. 200p. ISBN 9781937226930. pap. $18.85. NAT HIST
Geologist Lawton (Reading Water: Lessons from the River) offers 15 essays about wildness and water, and how together they form a life-giving oasis needed by all humankind. As an adult, Lawton traveled widely throughout the West, often revisiting places she'd traveled to during childhood vacations, eloquently sharing her thoughts and feelings about special areas. For a time, Lawton worked as a Colorado River guide and this only deepened her interest in, and connection to, water and its many aspects of life-giving and renewal, causing her to question what would happen if that source disappeared. During her travels, she experienced firsthand what happens when water tables are depleted. Her observations about urban areas, such as Las Vegas, located in dry regions yet demanding huge quantities of water for recreational and entertainment desires will cause readers to pause and question priorities. Lawton opens up about her spiritual quests for understanding and knowledge; these essays conjure up a heartfelt missive for all of us to come to terms with the power of water.
VERDICT A worthwhile addition for environmental collections that will appeal to readers of regional literature.
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