The Heart of the Sound: An Alaskan Paradise Found and Nearly Lost
How does one recover from disaster? That question is at the heart of Marybeth Holleman’s lyrical, elegiac response to the repercussions of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which devastated Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989. Intertwining the destruction of an ecosystem, the disintegration of her marriage, and her emerging identity as a new mother, Holleman explores the resiliency of nature—both wild and human—and the ways in which that resiliency is tested.
While much of nature writing is about the search for an unspoiled landscape, The Heart of the Sound is about what happens when such a place is irrevocably damaged. In language rich with passion and hard-won insight and imbued with descriptions that give voice to the place, Holleman creates a captivating story of a woman who found her Eden in the sweeping fjords of Alaska’s Prince William Sound only to almost lose it to ecological tragedy. Speaking as a witness and survivor, she discovers what it means to love what remains.