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Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River Paperback – October 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press; 1st Edition edition (October 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607810239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607810230
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"the poet who attends to this river [is]... an insightful scholar,...a devout pilgrim, and an expansive guide as these home waters descend from the High Uintas through defining stories of family and identity."--Stephen Trimble --Back Cover

"practices theology like a doctor practices CPR: not as secondhand theory but as a chest-cracking, lung-inflating, life-saving intervention.... It's what you've been wanting to read."--Adam Miller --Times and Seasons

"...nature writing at its best.... a call for his people to wake up and embrace the stewardship required of them. And it is some stunningly good reading.....Read this book. It will change you."--Steve Peck  --By Common Consent

"extends... beyond a particular creed or geographic area to address broader issues related to habitation and brings into conversation... theology and place studies." --Paul Formisano, ISLE

"What a pleasing book. George Handley has calmly scripted a place-based masterwork.... again and again, the writing lifted me with its precise similes or its able flexing of metaphorical muscle." --Jeffrey McCarthy, Western American Literature.

"Wallace Stegner wrote: 'No place, not even a wild place, is a place until it has had that human attention that at its highest reach we call poetry.' In this fortunate pairing of place and poet, we learn about Utah’s Provo River—a paradox of wildness and extinction, pioneering and restoration. We learn that the river is embedded in community—Mormon community—a fact inseparable from the place. And we learn about the poet who attends to this river, a man who turns out to be an insightful scholar, an exuberant fly fisherman, a devout pilgrim, and an expansive guide as these home waters descend from the High Uintas through defining stories of family and identity, to pour down the Jordan River to the Great Salt Lake."—Stephen Trimble, author of Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America

 



"With his poetic writing, Home Waters…is an enjoyable read and is a must-have for any spectator of nature."—Utah Historical Quarterly

 



"BYU professor of humanities and comparative literature George B. Handley offers an invigorating draft of mountain waters for nature and gospel lovers.... You'll enjoy this masterful book, which is destined to become a classic in Latter-day Saints studies."—BYU Magazine



"What a pleasing book. George Handley has calmly scripted a place-based masterwork. Home Waters engages knotty questions of conservation through the familiar pattern of a year on the land....and offers a useful lens for readers of contemporary ecocriticism."
Western American Literature 

From the Inside Flap

"Handley has made a most uniquely compelling case for how the physical world--both environs as well as our flesh--provides landscapes in which one touches the divine in the most intimate ways. In exploring the watershed of his ancestors, Handley has articulated how LDS culture has compromised the health of the systems that sustain life, and in the same breath he has illuminated the Mormon stories and doctrine that offer possibilities for a re-creation of God's works, and indeed, our own souls."  Amy Irvine, author of Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
This book really pulled me in.
Kirk Caudle
I am glad that I read this book and had the chance to consider the opinions of one so enthralled with nature.
Garrett Hardy
It's a beautiful story and a well-told narrative!
Jessica Lee Jensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Being from the Provo area that George Handley is writing about, Home Waters is personally special to me. It was comforting, nostalgic, saddening, and sobering to read his thoughts and feelings about the area - its environment and the culture - and how it connected to his own life. This was also a humbling read, for I got the sense that while I have lived my whole life in this area and Handley has not, Handley feels a connection, responsibility, and love for the area that runs much deeper than my own. How is it that I could live here my whole life, claim to like the area, and yet fail to connect with it as intensely as Handley seems to have? That's probably not an important question. More valuable would be that I learned that my feelings for home, my capacity to love the Provo area (or any area I am living in) and its people; my knowledge of its history, its geology & geography, and all its natural systems could grow. That's a sobering, encouraging, even exciting feeling, because there is still much I can learn in life. And Home Waters teaches me that what we learn can help us love the world and people even more than we do right now. Humanity's capacity for folly is only matched by its capacity for goodness.

Home Waters is an eloquent and densely thoughtful personal examination of self, family, the environment, community, history & genealogy; where spirituality & religion and literature are weaved throughout to show how all of these things are connected, coalescing into a collective guide to seeing and understanding the world more clearly, humbly, and charitably. For Handley, all these things are important and he uses all of them to help guide his thoughts on some of life's most deep and fundamental questions. This is a beautiful read, which I imagine will reveal even more insightful thoughts with a second and third reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By skyler on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
George Handley's Home Waters offers a Latter-day Saint (LDS) perspective of ecology, theology, and the tie of these themes to our modern context. Handley's memoirs present insight derived from his adventures in the Utah backwoods and he adeptly carries the reader by using a sublime combination of personal experience, history, literature, and science. His writing is replete with imagery and his narration is honed by the strong sense of personal honesty that guides his introspection, the second making it a provocative work.

A thoroughly enjoyable passage for me was the very specific LDS perspective he gives on how the LDS culture distinguishes itself from other cultures. When we more plainly understand who we are is when we are among those that hold different beliefs than our own. Similarly, when a person lives in a highly dense population with beliefs similar to his/her own, to recognize one's own uniqueness is harder to see. Handley uses this idea to show how the LDS population has become apathetic ecologically due to the knowledge of an impending restoration of the earth when Jesus Christ comes again. Handley argues that despite LDS doctrine to care for the "Eden" that the pioneers were given, they have turned their backs on the world prematurely by trusting "in his innocence and immortality" to save his/herself and the world.

The powerful stories drawn from history inspire all those that want to shape the future by educating the reader in the present. This is done in a way that will leave the reader both reverent for the ecology and the theology that this part of the world has cradled.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Brian Watkins VINE VOICE on November 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose a professor must yearn for open spaces, being stuck inside all day. I read to discover new viewpoints and to have the vicarious experience a fine author can provide--typically indoors, however. The author's opinions often challenged this reviewer, but his arguments were sound and convincing. In that light, this book succeeded. This was a book that invites the reader to evaluate opinions and to think deeply about one's impact on the world and others, it is largely about the currents that bring us to become the people we are.

Introspective to only the degree a humanities professor can achieve, I think the problem I had with the work was that if we were all to adopt our author's love for the river and outdoors, the spaces sacred to the author would quickly be overrun and much of the magic found in the magnificent solitude would be lost. Perhaps the natural resistance to having beliefs tweaked, this reader perceived a hint of an attitude that people who do not share the author's appreciations are failing to honor the maker of the world. I respond that it would be hard to share a wonderful kayak ride on the Provo River with a few hundred other souls and Mr. Handley would weep to see the San Gabriel River on any given weekend, with literally thousands of people and their cars turning the natural world into a parking lot. In order to foster and protect his view of the perfect world, the author is willing to make demands on others that they scale back things that they might enjoy--be it a fine home on the bench, a drive on a mountain road or a wide expanse of soft green turf in an otherwise arid climate. A minor quibble, yet a major problem in this world; how to bring the sacred to the masses without profaning that which we seek to elevate?
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