At the age of 52, British-born writer Jonathan Raban, a permanent resident of the U.S., decides to sail alone up the Inside Passage from his Seattle home to the Alaska Panhandle. On his way, he talks about the first European explorers in the area, the indigenous peoples (offering, among other things, a new theory of Northwestern Indian aesthetics, based on the breakup and shimmering of light on the water), the ailing and booming towns of the present, the tourists and escapees from civilization that populate the villages and islands along the way. His journey is interrupted partway through by a flight home for his father's passing, and another surprise life change awaits the author at the end of his journey. This is a beautiful, contemplative, thoughtful book.
This report prepared by David Loftus