For award-winning science writer Margie Patlak, exploring the unique nature of the Maine coast opens a door to deeper ties and insights. Watching a striped monarch caterpillar transform into a chartreuse pendant dabbed with gold, she realizes the limits of life and what passes between generations. Dramatic tides teach her how fleeting time is and the ephemeral nature of raising a child, and clouds and weather reveal greater forces that take away all illusions of control. She also explores the violent geologic collisions that thrust up and fractured Maine’s mountains; digs into the latest scientific thinking on how animals navigate; exults in the dizzy dance of plankton under the microscope, and reflects on the dogfish heart that continued to beat while held in the palm of her hand. Even moose, foxes, porcupines, and fishers reveal more than meets the eye. These facets of the natural world speak a hidden language that is translated by scientific knowledge and reflection. Nature begins to speak about the nature of life.
From the author:
I started writing this book ten years go when my husband and I bought a place on the rocky shore of northern Maine and began spending our summers and falls there. I wanted to learn about the nature in Maine, so during each stay I would research and write about what I encountered, from its dramatic tides, astonishing wild animals, and plentiful stars, to its stunning islands, striking rock formations, and captivating beauty. But because I was also dealing with the loss of my mother and sole sibling and the decline of my father, my family kept popping up in my writings. At a certain point I realized I was writing not just about nature, but about what nature was teaching me about the nature of life, renewal, and what remains once the ashes are spread.
"More than Meets the Eye: Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine is a beautiful and surprising book. Bereavement gives way to awe; the secrets of Maine's rocky coast offer a path to grace. This soulfully written book chocked full of natural history observations is true to its title: These stories are sweeter, deeper, and richer than you would suspect. Thank you, Margie Patlak, for showing us that even in the midst of great sorrow, the natural world shows us how to refresh the wonder."
--Sy Montgomery, author of the New York Times bestsellerThe Soul of an Octopus.
"To read this book is to gain a deep perspective from looking close, both backwards and forwards and in time and space, for living and enjoying the real world, the one of nature. Patlak gracefully combines it all, centered at a new home in Maine. I learned much while enjoying the whole show."
--Bernd Heinrich, New York Times best-selling author of Summer World, and A Year In the Maine Woods
Margie Patlak is available for interviews, signings, and media engagements.