From Publishers Weekly
Against the cacophony that pervades our lives, novelist LeClaire (The Lavender Hour
) offers a persuasive antidote: silence. Sixteen years ago, LeClaire decided to devote a 24-hour period to not speaking, and it became a twice-a-month practice. LeClaire draws deeply on this experience in calling for a wholesale rethinking of noise and a greater appreciation for quietude and nature. Especially revealing are scenes in which the author or her friends, husband and other family struggle with her practice. It is within this conflict that LeClaire finds the lessons that she wishes to pass on to her readers. With Ann Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea
as a model, LeClaire, too, focuses especially on women, encouraging them to carve out a silent space in a demanding world. Both book and the practice seem at once self-indulgent and eminently sensible. LeClaire's prose is colloquial, friendly and familiar, and the book is as much memoir as it is inspiration. Nineteen photos by LeClaire's son illustrate each chapter opening. (Mar.)
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Sixteen years ago, novelist LeClaire decided to spend a day in silence. That 24 hours changed her life. She found in silence something more than not-speaking. Silence was, and is, a means to greater self-understanding and, paradoxically, to greater connection with nature and with others. Since that day, she has devoted two days a month to silence. In this eloquent and moving book, she describes how others responded to her apparent withdrawal—sometimes with anger, sometimes with fear, sometimes with envy, often with loving support. She relates how her practice has changed her, especially in her relationship to age and death, that final silence. Although technically a memoir, this book moves beyond that genre into spirituality and philosophy. LeClaire’s reputation as a novelist may draw readers to this lovely book, which should also have crossover appeal to spiritual seekers of any religion and no religion. --Patricia Monaghan