Kirkus Star


A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude
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How losing eyesight in one eye made a man see more clearly.

Following a freak accident that left him without sight in one eye, the world Axelrod had envisioned for himself after graduating from Harvard suddenly didn’t seem to matter. Nothing felt concrete—not the world around him, his future plans, or even his own physical sense of being. A year in Italy and two cross-country trips still left him searching for meaning. He retreated to a small cabin deep in the woods of Vermont, a place far enough away from the noise of the world that he could hear himself think. Time slowed down to a snail’s pace as he wandered the forests on snowshoes, through the deep muck of mud season and the intense green of summer. Axelrod lyrically captures the essence of nature as he ponders his own self-worth and purpose in life. After his first winter, when summer returned, “the green was a revelation, a prodigal son—a color that had once existed, gone missing in the snows and miraculously returned. It opened itself through the hazed meadows, through the blue-green hills, through the reflections in the pewter green ponds; it deepened the blue in the pines, gilded the light off the streams, and relented only towards dusk, yielding to the slow antics of the fireflies, to the stars overhead….” By reflecting on the scenery around him and examining memories of his childhood, his school friends, and a special girl he knew in Italy, Axelrod slowly gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be alive. In his first book, the author pushes beyond the boundaries and safety nets of the modern world and opens a doorway to feelings and experiences many long for but never encounter. His writing is a balm for world-weary souls.

A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8070-7546-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Beacon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2015


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