Earth, Air, Water, Light

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0.00 · 0 ratings · Published: Apr 4th, 2012 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
Earth, Air, Water, Light is a love story filled with dark imagery contrasted against the beauty of nature. The story is set in the mid 1800s, and transports the reader to the far north woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to a place named Keweenaw by the resident Ojibway Indians. It is to this remote wilderness that the young newlyweds Adelaide Rose and her husband Jonas travel, coming from far away England. While staying in Sault St. Marie awaiting passage further north, an accident and the witnessing of a tragic shipwreck result in Adelaide developing a curious connection to death. It is also in Sault St. Marie that Adelaide meets Calix Napolean Purchase. It is an encounter that will change her life. When they finally arrive in Copper Harbor, a settlement with more tents than permanent structures, the Roses learn that the earlier shipwreck has contributed to their good fortune.
As Jonas begins work in the copper mine, Adelaide learns about living in the wilderness. She finds that she is a naturalist at heart and is captivated by the beauty and complexity of the natural world around her. She also begins to see the effect that European settlement has on that which she is growing to love. Shortly after their arrival in Copper Harbor a mining accident leaves a young man blinded and sets in motion a series of events. Then the horrific rape of a mysterious young woman shocks the small community. Adelaide begins a love affair with a man from a past encounter and another mining accident brings Darwin, a three legged dog, into her life.
Adelaide is a strong, willful, young woman and an independent thinker. In the northern frontier, a place where social convention holds little meaning, she finds the freedom to be herself. Her observations of the natural world cause her to question her Methodist faith. Adelaide finds it preferable to be a part of nature rather than to be separate from it. When a business opportunity takes Jonas away to Isle Royale, Adelaide continues her affair and finds herself in love with two men. She has also, in the short time since her arrival there, seen the European population increase. She knows that the discovery of copper will result in development and the arrival of ‘civilization’.
Earth, Air, Water, Light is a compelling story that makes us look at how established religion affects our relationship with nature. Is Biblical dominion leading us to destroy that which we need for our survival?

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