I was pleased to see the review by Betsy Kepes in your March/April issue about Lorraine Duvall’s books and wanted to add a comment about what for me makes In Praise of Quiet Waters so engaging.
The way Duvall interweaves history, advocacy, and personal story kept each aspect from bogging down the narrative. Her questions about the differences between “wilderness” and “the wild,” and what is necessary to allow a sense of being able to commune with nature, are especially apt. And unlike typical guidebooks, she really conveys the felt experience of canoeing in specific waters.
Finally, I appreciated Duvall’s exploration of the tension many women feel between the desire for independence in the outdoors and fear, because being in the wild is such a rare experience. Her experiences in challenging herself and overcoming her fears can serve as an inspiration to women who might otherwise be too intimidated to follow her example.
Celine Keating, New York City