My Reach

A Hudson River Memoir
My Reach: A Hudson River Memoir. Cornell Univ. 2011. c.240p. bibliog. ISBN 9780801450075. $21. TRAV
By intensively exploring the Hudson River by kayak, Fox (writing, Bard Coll.; editor, Antarctica: Life on the Ice) found a powerful means to connect with her community, the natural world, and her own emotions. This pensive memoir examines the role of her close connection with the river in helping her deal with the deaths of both her parents. Whether describing a kayak trip around Manhattan, an encounter with a dead body along the river's edge, or the impact of pollution on the river's fauna, Fox's graceful prose and meditative tone offer a personal view into the age-old pull of a great American river as a source of refuge and revival in difficult times. In the opening section, Fox's memoir seems slight and unfocused, but as the pages pass, a quiet power builds from her eloquent observations and raw depiction of facing grief's ravages with the aid of the Hudson's solitude and space.
VERDICT Best-suited to readers interested in memoirs of grief, nature writing, or Hudson River kayaking. Those interested in the river in its historical context may prefer Douglas Hunter's Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World.
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