April 29, 2023

Book Review: Going to Ground by Amy Blackmarr

Next week is my last week of school, and it couldn't come sooner, but I don't want to dwell on that. Instead, I want to talk about a book I had to read for one of my classes. We got to pick from a specific list of nonfiction books, and I intially planned to read something else entirely, but I'd also purchased Going to Ground: Simple Life On a Georgia Pond by Amy Blackmarr, and when I read the prologue, I knew this was the one for me.

It's about a woman in her 30s who gives up her life and career in Kansas and moves back home to South Georgia to, well, live a simple life. She moves into her grandparents' old fishing cabin with plans to write, and each chapter is about her experiences, which range from dealing with poisonous snakes to not having hot water. But in between, there are beautiful discriptions of the land and so much heart. I didn't expect that when I first started reading.

On a personal note, I related to so much of this book. It could have been written by me at this similar stage of life. Since my mom died, I've been trying to figure out what's next for me, and it felt like Blackmarr was speaking directly to me. From her desire to simplify her life to her attachment to the land where she spent so much time growing up, there were passages I felt like I could have written myself. And I don't want to spoil the ending, but I may have shed a tear or 2,000. Part of that was due to an incident, and part of that was due to a situation in which Blackmarr found herself that I feel like I'll find myself in one day. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a heavy thing.

So, yeah, this book was published back in the mid-1990s — I'm a little late to the game — but I highly recommend it if you find yourself in a similar place in life. And even if you don't, there may be something for you. It's a beautiful snapshot of what life is like in rural South Georgia with a little humor mixed in too. As a matter of fact, it made the Georgia Center for the Book's 2005 list of "25 Books All Georgians Should Read."

As for me, I plan to explore more of Blackmarr's writing. And as I continue my journey towards whatever is next to me, I think I'll find myself reflecting on this book often.

No comments: