The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water

Milkweed. Oct. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781639550630. $25. MEMOIR
This memoir by poet, teacher, and fly-fishing guide Dombrowski (Body of Water) is a love letter to his adopted rural Montana home. His essays range from anecdotes from his fly fishing trips to his musings on becoming a father and raising children with a sense of wonder, while living lightly on the land. Challenges include raising a family with meager financial resources earned from his writing, river guiding trips, and low wage work. However, his coveted job at a school in Michigan, while giving him job security, can’t make up for his homesickness for Montana, so he leaves it to return to the life he loves. His memoir is deeply descriptive of both the Montana landscape and the rivers he fishes. Tales of boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking draw the reader in as he weaves in stories from his childhood, teaching experiences, and time spent with family, friends, and mentors.
VERDICT A lyrical exploration of a beloved place and lifestyle steeped in the natural world, by a writer for whom quality of life supersedes the need for financial security. Will appeal to readers who relish memoirs that skillfully intertwine nature, the American West, and fishing.
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