"OPEN MIDNIGHT: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet," by Brooke Williams, Trinity University Press, $16.95, 232 pages (nf)
"Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet" by Brooke Williams is a book of two stories. The first is the journey of the author, who is a field advocate, as he wanders the southern Utah wilderness, searching for evidence to save it from modernization. The second is the story of Williams' ancestor, William Williams, a member of a Mormon handcart company and contemporary of Charles Darwin.
As Brooke Williams tracks his ancestor's steps to the Sweetwater River, he begins to feel a spiritual intuition from another dimension. With the guidance of his ancestor, Williams explores the connection between the wilderness of the Earth and the wilderness of the human psyche. As inner and outer wildness meet, Williams learns the combination of the two may be what keeps all mankind truly human.
Williams is a wilderness advocate, author and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Huffington Post, Outside, Orion and Saltfront. Williams has worked in conservation for more than three decades, most recently with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. This is his fourth book.
Williams' prose is magnificent — lyrical, evocative and encompassing. Readers will see clearly the wild beauty of southern Utah and be reminded of the spiritual nourishment that only comes through nature. "Open Midnight" is an expanding experience, one that will change forever how readers see life, death and those who have gone before us.
Latter-day Saint readers will find much to connect with in the author's ideas of life, eternity and learning from ancestors — that is, if they can disregard the anti-Mormon flavor of the book. Williams is a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and takes potshots throughout the book at various aspects of Utah Mormon culture and LDS doctrine. While some LDS readers will enjoy "Open Midnight" anyway, others may feel alienated by Williams' disdainful perspective.
"Open Midnight" contains a handful of mild profanities, no violence and no sexual content.
If you go
What: Brooke Williams book signing
When: Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East
Note: The signing line is for those who buy a copy of the featured book from The King’s English.
Rachel Chipman has a bachelor's degree in family life and human development. Her current goals are to read more, write more and learn to type while chasing her toddler. Her email address is [email protected].