Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris (1993)
I have been reading Dakota: A Spiritual Geography for the last two weeks. I'm only on page 95. I can't do it anymore! I was reading it for the Something About Me challenge. It was beachreader's pick. She never did say why she was picking the book. I thought it had a interesting title and looked it up on Amazon.com. The reviews were good, so I started reading it. Dakota is about Kathleen Norris' journey back to Dakota from New York. South Dakota that is, the place where she spent her childhood and where her mother and grandparents grew up. Norris did a pretty good job describing not only South Dakota but also North Dakota and the problems both states are having with a dwindling population and ecomony and the small-mindness of the inhabitants there. Outsiders are the enemies though they are really needed. Norris lives in the town of Lemmon where there are only 1200 people, down from the 4000 that lived there in the 1970s. Norris also does a great job with raising the question where is the reader's spiritual geography? What place is home to you and why? It made me think about Long Beach in a different way. Is this city really my spiritual geography? But the problem with the book is that a lot of times the description weighed the book down. A lot of it could have been taken out. But I give it a rating of 3 out of 5 because of the questions it asks of the reader and also of people who live in the many small towns that are dying.