Elk Love

A Montana Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
360 Pages
Reviewed on 01/16/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Lynne moved to Great Falls, Montana, in the early 2000s. Formerly a curator of art exhibitions in Atlanta, Georgia, Lynne needed a place to heal and recharge after the health problems she had endured. Lynne remembered her summers on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, where she worked on her Ph.D., studying Native American cultures. These were happy times, and Lynne hoped to revive them in Great Falls. But the conservative town near military bases and the position of the local museum's director didn't live up to her expectations. She was on her way to a meeting with a rancher whom she hoped to persuade to support the museum when she lost control of her car on the gravel road. The accident led to a challenging friendship with Harrison, the local rancher, and Lynne's almost mystical connection with Montana's wild nature. Elk Love by Lynne Spriggs O’Connor is for fans of memoirs and nature lovers.

Lynne Spriggs O’Connor's exceptional writing style makes Elk Love a captivating read. Healing and invigorating, this memoir is like a breath of fresh air. Lynne opens up about deeply personal matters, such as her health problems, and Elk Love reads as a confession of a beautiful and artistic soul. The narrative is vibrant, poetic, and sprinkled with occasional humor, like when Lynne speaks about the visit of the Buddhist monks to Great Falls and the puzzling events that preceded this visit. While describing her relationship with Harrison, Lynne tells us that friendship and mutual understanding take patience. The author demonstrates a deep knowledge of the human psyche by narrating about Harrison's traumatic past and her friend, the wise, art-loving Phyllis. Elk Love is Lynne's love story with nature. The author's work in the museum and the Native American art exhibitions she curated reflect her perception of nature and its laws. She knows and accepts that some of these laws can be cruel. Also, Lynne describes life on a ranch from many different angles, revealing lesser-known facts about cattle's impact on the environment. I highly recommend this philosophical and profound book.