( Kindle ) ☩ Into Great Silence ♖ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free
A copy of this book was provided free via Edelweiss for the purpose of review.tl dr version It s been quite a while since a book has had as great an emotional effect on me as Eva Saulitis s Into Great Silence A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among Vanishing Orcas By the end of the book, I was very close to tearing up it s quite a touching story, and the reality of it resonates with me.My full review can be read at Amara s Eden. Very little about Orcas and their ways, to much about the life of the writer, long descriptions of nothing at all, no developments whatsoever Just too bored to continue. I m going to have to do a much bigger and polished review of this later but I had to write something now I loved slipping into the world of the Prince William Sound and the Chugach Transients with Eva Saulitis as a guide Her writing is a pretty perfect mix of hard science but also emotion and personal reflection Seeing her struggle with the horrific effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 on the Sound, it s creatures the transiet orcas in particular , and herself was incredibly moving.One of the strongest parts of the book for me was how Saulitis continually debated whether it was possible to really understand orcas given that scientists only see a small fraction of their life with so little context I admired how he struggled to balance her emotional attachment to the orcas with her scientific duty and also appreciated her refusal to anthropomorphize the whales and assign them equivalent human behavior and emotion Her journal notes which range from simple scientific observations to personal and quite poetic entries were wonderful additions The only thing I wish I had access to is the audio files of her recordings of the orcas which seem so powerful and fascinating.And.here s that review Devastating and beautiful. ( Kindle ) ♜ Into Great Silence ☳ Science Entwines With Matters Of The Human Heart As A Whale Researcher Chronicles The Lives Of An Endangered Family Of Orcas Ever Since Eva Saulitis Began Her Whale Research In Alaska In The S, She Has Been Drawn Deeply Into The Lives Of A Single Extended Family Of Endangered Orcas Struggling To Survive In Prince William Sound Over The Course Of A Decades Long Career Spent Observing And Studying These Whales, And Eventually Coming To Know Them As Individuals, She Has, Sadly, Witnessed The Devastation Wrought By The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Of After Which Not A Single Calf Has Been Born To The Group With The Intellectual Rigor Of A Scientist And The Heart Of A Poet, Saulitis Gives Voice To These Vital Yet Vanishing Survivors And The Place They Are So Loyal To Both An Elegy For One Orca Family And A Celebration Of The Entire Species, Into Great Silence Is A Moving Portrait Of The Interconnectedness Of Humans With Animals And Place And Of The Responsibility We Have To Protect Them
This book is memoirs of Saulitis s early years studying a family of orca whales in Prince William Sound There is science about orcas here, and there is also the poetry of place, and ruminations on the fruited blank spaces of species and individuals across which science cannot reach.Eye to eye with an imprisoned orca, Saulitis writes Watching him, I felt the way I had the previous summer, seeing orcas swim through crude oil sheens culpable, part of the mechanized world, reducible to the sum of my destructive, human parts Which is how I feel so often in the company of non human animals This mourning about the choices humans have made, this irascible complicity, this keen wish to be something other than human Reading about oil spill and imprisonment, thinking about the ways the human world intrudes on the profoundly complex orca world, made these feelings very present for me.And eye to eye with a free orca, she writes I could count on one hand the number of times a wild orca had looked me in the eye What does it see What does it think and feel I know what I feel I feel my heart pinned in its gaze I feel seen and known in ways I could never see and know myself the iceberg of my own being I can t see my reflection in a wild orca s eye, and I can t ask for an interpretation But there s no question who s in control, who s choosing to see and be seen I m never alive than in that moment, exposed, a part of my soul stolen and given back, reshaped. I was so happy to receive this book from the Goodreads giveaway As an Environmental Science major and animal lover , I have always found the looming threat of animal extinction to be very close to home Orcas in particular are such precious, gentle giants it s difficult to imagine that we humans can have such substantial and devastating impacts on nature without even realizing it s going on The world is crashing down around us and most of us don t even care And in the wake of pollution, overpopulation and indifference, it is the animals who will suffer first This memoir sheds some light on the subject and gives us a very real portrayal of one scientist s factual and emotional observations This book will open up your eyes and show you a very dark side of human nature, inspiring anyone who reads it to get up and take action It might be too late for orcas and other animals, but we still have a responsibility to fight for them and at least TRY to make a difference This is a tear jerker, and is definitely worth a read for anyone who ever wanted to make the world a better place. Eva Saulitis began studying a particular population of killer whales in Alaska s Prince William Sound a year before the Exxon Valdez disaster One just has to look at the family tree illustration inside the back cover or apply common sense to know that it doesn t end well for these whales Although every page I turned built my feelings of dread, I still enjoyed the journey thanks to the author s beautiful prose She s a true naturalist and gives vivid descriptions of the weather, terrain, birds, flora and fauna she encountered on a daily basis She also describes her scientific research in a way the layman can appreciate, while avoiding the temptation to anthropomorphize her subjects I recommend this book to anyone who doesn t mind a true tear jerker. I really enjoyed this book, I learned a lot about orcas and the symbiotic nature of life It s by turns very scientific by observations, but it is clear that Eva loves these whales From one of the scientific observations around the hunting orcas, I thought one of the quotes to remember was, if there s a conversation of death, there s also an equally inscrutable conversation of life There is death and there is play, and both are mysterious I learned something s I didn t know and I enjoyed to book. I still have tears drying on my cheeks from finishing this book I m grieving the whales and the life of before I m traveling the channels of orcas with my dreams Saulitis words are beautiful, honest, rich in science and beauty I cannot recommend this memoir enough This book has shifted something in me, something that had slid out of place I don t yet know how I will live the days ahead, but I know I will live differently.