In this searching memoir, Le Anne Schreiber explores the shifts of perspective that accompany a growing intimacy with death. Deeply moving, graced with subtle intelligence and humor, Light Years looks mortality in the eye and stares it down. In the background are three deaths occurring over five years–those of the author’s mother, father, and brother. In the foreground are stories of certain simple elements of her life during this period–of a barn cat, impaled by a hunter’s arrow, that she patiently nurses back to health; of a trout stream, whose raging waters thwart her attempt to release her father’s ashes; of an overgrown acre that stubbornly refuses to be tamed.
Gradually, she traces the impact of these deaths on her understanding of such basic concepts as home, time, and territory, and her own textured past. Searching throughout this remarkable book for this-worldly sources of consolation, she finds them in unexpected places: long swims, a dream, an ancient oak, a book on Einstein, the view from a nearby hilltop.
Light Years bears witness to the shock of death, but even more to a vital and questing inner life, a rare triumph of understanding, and the discovery of vast open horizons, only light years away. This unforgettable memoir is filled with light.