Home Place, by Elisa Adler

Home Place, by Elisa Adler

Home Place, by Elisa Adler

If you liked Elisa Adler’s I’ll Close My Eyes (But I Won’t Be Asleep), the story of unexpected encounters at the edge of a world, you may like a book she wrote years earlier, but just published. Home Place is a love story of place, and the people, spirits, and elements that shape it.


When a damaged and idealistic young woman retreats to a mountain valley with her proud-cut, green broke gelding, the people she meets there tell her stories of how they came to and lost the place where she now lives.

They tell of the sixteen-year-old Welsh boy, John Davies, who in 1863 walks over the ridge looking for gold and finds and marries Mary Yatkin, the Maidu headman’s daughter. They tell how from that union generations of family grew and still grow – ranchers, basket-weavers, loggers, mill-workers, healers, thinkers, and teachers, who plant orchards in the valley coves, raise animals, barns, and children, whom they teach to be careful and to care for the ever-present spirits who inhabit that world.

As the young woman grows old and comes, like they, to belong in that place, she strings their tales along the thread of her twenty-five year journal of watching.

Home Place is that beaded strand of witnessing in time, an account of lost and longed for homes, that ephemeral place in ourselves we try to know or remember. It’s the light left on in the kitchen to guide us when we, like old John Davies, might want to be found or make our ways home through the dark.

About Elisa Adler:

Elisa Adler teaches writing in colleges and prisons, is a translator and interpreter, farms, and lives with her family on a northeastern edge of California’s Sierra Nevada. She and others of the Cunningham, Davis, and Joseph families, whose stories comprise this book, continue to tend and watch over the Home Place.

Visit Elisa Adler on her website, which also provides purchase links and a lyrical, poetic, and powerful excerpt from Home Place.

You can learn more about Elisa Adler in this interview, Delusion, Dimension, or Discourse, which she did with me about her first book, I’ll Close My Eyes (But I Won’t Be Asleep).


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