The Solace of Open Spaces Book Summary - The Solace of Open Spaces Book explained in key points

The Solace of Open Spaces summary

Gretel Ehrlich

Brief summary

The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich is a captivating collection of essays that delves into the beauty and harshness of the American West. Ehrlich offers poignant reflections on nature, solitude, and the human experience.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    The Solace of Open Spaces
    Summary of key ideas

    Exploring the Solace of Open Spaces

    In The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich, we embark on a journey to the American West, particularly Wyoming, where the author finds solace and healing after the death of her partner. Ehrlich's narrative is a collection of essays, each a reflection on the people, the land, and the harsh yet beautiful environment of the region.

    As Ehrlich immerses herself in the Wyoming landscape, she discovers a profound connection between the land and its inhabitants. She introduces us to the cowboys, ranchers, and other individuals who have chosen to live in this remote and unforgiving terrain. Through their stories, she paints a vivid picture of the resilience and adaptability required to survive in such an environment.

    Harsh Realities and Unyielding Beauty

    Ehrlich doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of life in the American West. She describes the brutal winters, the relentless winds, and the isolation that can drive people to the brink of madness. Yet, amidst these challenges, she also finds an unyielding beauty in the open spaces, the vast skies, and the untamed wilderness.

    She shares her experiences of working on a ranch, participating in cattle drives, and witnessing the birth and death of animals. These experiences, while physically demanding, provide her with a deep sense of connection to the land and its rhythms. She learns to appreciate the simplicity and honesty of this way of life, far removed from the complexities of modern society.

    Reflections on Grief and Healing

    Throughout The Solace of Open Spaces, Ehrlich intertwines her observations of the natural world with her personal journey of grief and healing. She finds solace in the unchanging landscape, which serves as a constant reminder of the cycle of life and death. The harshness of the environment mirrors her own emotional turmoil, and yet, she finds a strange comfort in this parallel.

    As she becomes more attuned to the rhythms of the land, Ehrlich begins to heal. She finds peace in the simplicity of her surroundings and in the company of the people who have learned to coexist with the harsh environment. Her grief doesn't disappear, but it transforms into a quieter, more bearable form.

    Embracing the Wild and the Unknown

    As The Solace of Open Spaces draws to a close, Ehrlich reflects on the transformative power of the American West. She acknowledges that this land is not for everyone, but for those who are drawn to it, it offers a unique opportunity for self-discovery and growth. The open spaces, rather than being empty, are filled with the potential for new beginnings and personal revelations.

    In conclusion, The Solace of Open Spaces is a poignant exploration of the American West and the healing power of nature. Ehrlich's lyrical prose and keen observations invite us to embrace the wild and the unknown, to find solace in the face of adversity, and to appreciate the beauty of a landscape that is both unforgiving and awe-inspiring.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Solace of Open Spaces about?

    The Solace of Open Spaces (1985) is a captivating collection of essays by Gretel Ehrlich that delves into the beauty and harshness of the American West. Through her lyrical prose, Ehrlich explores the vast landscapes, the people who inhabit them, and the profound connection between humans and nature. It offers a unique perspective on the power of open spaces to heal and inspire.

    The Solace of Open Spaces Review

    The Solace of Open Spaces (1985) portrays the author's personal exploration of the vast landscapes of Wyoming after experiencing a tragedy. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a raw and intimate reflection on grief and the healing power of nature, resonating with readers on a deep emotional level.
    • The book delves into the harsh realities and dynamics of rural life, providing a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the human-nature connection.
    • With its vivid descriptions and poetic observations, the book captures the essence of the open spaces and evokes a sense of awe and wonder.

    Who should read The Solace of Open Spaces?

    • Readers who enjoy lyrical and meditative writing
    • Those seeking a deeper connection to nature and the human experience
    • People who are curious about life in the American West and the challenges of rural living

    About the Author

    Gretel Ehrlich is an American author known for her captivating writing about the natural world. With a deep connection to the landscapes of the American West, Ehrlich has written several books that explore the intersection of nature, culture, and the human experience. Some of her notable works include The Solace of Open Spaces, Islands, The Universe, Home, and Facing the Wave. Ehrlich's evocative and introspective style has earned her critical acclaim and a dedicated readership.

    Categories with The Solace of Open Spaces

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Solace of Open Spaces FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Solace of Open Spaces?

    The main message of The Solace of Open Spaces is finding peace and healing in the vastness of nature.

    How long does it take to read The Solace of Open Spaces?

    The reading time for The Solace of Open Spaces varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Solace of Open Spaces a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Solace of Open Spaces is worth reading for its beautiful prose and deep insights into the healing power of nature.

    Who is the author of The Solace of Open Spaces?

    The author of The Solace of Open Spaces is Gretel Ehrlich.

    What to read after The Solace of Open Spaces?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Solace of Open Spaces, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Fox by Martin Wallen
    • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
    • Spillover by David Quammen
    • Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek
    • Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
    • The Burning Question by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark
    • Renewable by Jeremy Shere
    • Green Illusions by Ozzie Zehner