Sooo apparently the idea to present the book like a mosaic came to Terry Tempest Williams in a feverish epiphany right before the book was gonna be sent in to get published Fine That explains the way that the structure of the story is too..straightforward for my taste And too rigidly divided into thematic sections intro mosaics, prairie dogs, Rwanda, mosaic y choppy conclusion I m of the opinion that such experimental, mosaic inspired artsy fartsiness ought to be experimental Make the pieces smaller, the jumble tighter, the overall effect of an emergent revelation.The feverishness kind of makes it okay that she thought making a mosaic could involve just un indenting paragraphs, inserting extra spaces here and there, and interjecting slightly relevant pretentious quotes into her narrative But shouldn t there have been editing involved after the mosaic motif was decided on It seemed slightly mosaic like by the end, what with the chapters getting choppier again I assumed this was meant to mirror the beginning s choppiness, and make a sort of border for her mosaic Which is cool The overall form was helped by her including occasional letters and notes and stuff I m biased by the fact that I m not a fan of TTW s voice She s veryspiritual Which, to me, means making embarrassingly sentimental and obvious observations As I read, I felt like I was hearing a breathy guided meditation voice in my head I couldn t decide whether to flinch or roll my eyes Yes, genocide senseless death murder is horrible Yes, people get too wrapped up in politics and forget to consider the individual people and the idea of shared humanity And prairie dogs are cute But the narrative is too busy congratulating itself for noticing all these obvious things and sharing a very personal experience which has made the narrator holier than thou to involve its readers in any meaningful sort of engagement with the topics. Okay the author s basic premise is that life is like a mosaic I love mosaics.that broken pieces can be put back together to form something new and while different beautiful in its new way I m having a really hard time with this book So the book is divided into 3 parts the author studying mosaic with an Italian master The author studying prarie dogs in the American SW and Bush s total disregard for the environment big picture and how relocation of prarie dogs will eventually lead to the extinction of prarie dogs and other species dependent on prarie dogs The last part is about genocide in Rwanda The author lived in Rwanda.I heard the author interviewed on NPR and found the premise interesting.I was particularly fascinated with her observation of how prarie dogs pray Evidently they come out of their burrows at the same time every day face East with paws together and chirp a distinctive chirp LSS, I am having a hard time getting through this book Prarie dogs are numbered and labled.i.e R49 3 awoke early and had a poop..I feel like I m trudging through a swamp of unnecessary detail I haven t gotten to the final section on Rwanda yet because I can t get through the numbered prarie dogs The author is a poet but her style for me well, its arduous Happy to lend it to someone who may enjoy it. Briefly, on form as prose poetry, this gorgeous work is totally accessible for people who don t consider themselves poetry reader It s riveting You ll want to keep reading.On content How can you NOT read a book that yokes together an apprenticeship as a mosaic artist in Ravenna, her grappling with the plight of endangered prairie dogs, which are simultaneously hunted and protected by the U.S., and women in Rwanda Williams offers a timely, fresh take on global life as an organismic rather than a collection of species existing in parallel And of course, the form of the work mirrors this interconnectedness. Terry has the rare ability to see her life through series of connected, relatable events She puts small examples into grand ideas, and makes those pertinent to her readers In this, she connects her mosaic studies in Italy with her passionate and thorough study of endangered prairie dogs at Bryce Canyon, and then her humanitarian journey through Rwanda The portion on prairie dogs is daunting at first it s truly a transcription of her journal entries but becomes magical as it weaves each individually named prairie dog into a separate narrative just be patient.Her theme here is brokenness, the unavoidability of destruction, but the need to find and define beauty in our own ways, regardless of the things we cannot control.This is truly a human story at its heart, with the prairie dogs standing in for our own communities, and Rwanda a stark contrast to the peace and privilege we are lucky to experience in our very different nations Terry is profound and beautiful in her insights Arrogance is arrogance, and cruelty committed to a person or an animal is cruelty 90 The extermination of a species and the extermination of a people are predicated on the same impulses prejudice, cruelty, arrogance, and ignorance If we cannot begin to see the world whole in all its connectivity, honoring the sacred nature of life, then I fear we will further fracture and fragment the integrity of our communities, as we continue to cultivate the seedbed of war 261 The vehicle for joy is Beauty Beauty is a right an angelic quality that heals When your environment is beautiful, it gives you dignity 270 What people do is much important that what people say 306 When I got this book for summer reading in June, I didn t know what to think about it In general I tend to go for fiction, as elements can be added and it s exciting You kind of feel the book s patterns, its foreshadowing.I get that this book was supposed to be a mosaic itself, but that realization, the oh, that s cool didn t keep me interested in the book In fact, I found the language at times to be sloshy, moving through it slowly and needing breaks to rest my eyes It s wordy And why didn t this TTW , as she called herself, indent the paragraphs as opposed to spaces It gave me the impression of reading a very, very long newspaper article.As for the whole mosaic structure, it kind of made the book seem choppy and unfocused rather than artsy One minute she s making mosaics in Italy, the next watching prairie dogs from a creaky tower, the next teaching orphan children in Rwanda about Jell O.That said, I didn t hate the book There were times, especially the prairie dog part, that were eye opening and make you think She does present valid points on the human condition, points I had to put sticky notes on for my assignment I ll have a lot to write about, which is always a good thing To conclude if you have a choice, I wouldn t choose this book It s not as visceral and demanding as the praise states, at least for me But if you re forced to read it like I am, it s not the end of the world Just like TTW can find beauty in a broken world, you too can find enjoyment in a boring book. There are layers to go through in order to understand humanity Williams excavates them A broken world can be put together again in a beautiful way There are rules to making mosaic Attend to light, to shape Find the right piece Prairie dogs live communally, kiss, and greet the sun In Rwanda is a layer of hell How hard to go there this is a great book She provides space for the reader to absorb what is written Great powerful, mighty, deep, spiritual, truthful Hard, but not difficult to read. In Her Most Original, Provocative, And Eloquently Moving Book Since Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams Gives Us A Luminous Chronicle Of Finding Beauty In A Broken World Always An Impassioned And Far Sighted Advocate For A Just Relationship Between The Natural World And Humankind, Williams Has Broadened Her Concerns Over The Past Several Years To Include A Reconfiguration Of Family And Community In Her Search For A Deeper Understanding Of What It Means To Be Human In An Era Of Physical And Spiritual Fragmentation Williams Begins In Ravenna, Italy, Where Jeweled Ceilings Became Lavish Tales Through The Art Of Mosaic She Discovers That Mosaic Is Not Just An Art Form But A Form Of Integration, And When She Returns To The American Southwest, Her Physical And Spiritual Home, And Observes A Clan Of Prairie Dogs On The Brink Of Extinction, She Apprehends An Ecological Mosaic Created By A Remarkable Species In The Sagebrush Steppes Of The Colorado Plateau And, Finally, Williams Travels To A Small Village In Rwanda, Where, Along With Fellow Artists, She Joins Survivors Of The Genocide And Builds A Memorial Literally From The Rubble Of War, An Act That Becomes A Spark For Social Change And Healing A Singular Meditation On How The Natural And Human Worlds Both Collide And Connect In Violence And Beauty, This Is A Work Of Uncommon Perceptions That Dares To Find Intersections Between Arrogance And Empathy, Tumult And Peace, Constructing A Narrative Of Hopeful Acts By Taking That Which Is Broken And Creating Something Whole Terry tempest Williams is my favorite author The first book of hers that I read was Refuge I read finding beauty in a Broken world a few years ago but it is the book that I most often go back and select favorite passages and pages to read again She has the naturalists eye and skill of observation, she has the artist s curiosity and patience to take tiny fragile pieces of glass and create beautiful mosaic, she has the voice and heart of a poet and the compassion of a bodhisattva and the experience of suffering and resilience All of this is evident in this artful and poignant journey she makes to Italy to study Mosaic, the quiet naturalist studies the endangered and fragile prairie dog, and then she travels to Rwanda to make sense of the genocide In Terry s world, the prairie dog s demise is connected to the genocide by the human condition of losing compassion She artfully inspires us to stay open and see the trauma and the beauty of this indeed, very broken world The mosaic is the perfect broken art to teach us how fragile we are as broken pieces of glass, but how beautiful and strong we are as a mosaic of a world community All living beings, though sometimes broken, are resilient and the harmony of life is very powerful This masterful book combines the ancient art of making mosaics, with the fragile ecology of prairie dog communities and the war torn broken communities of Rwanda in a way that gives me hope for the resilience of human and than human communities as we strive for a harmonious life. Strange, disjointed book Did NOT enjoy and think the author could ve said the same thing in a well thought out, concise essay.