All the Leavings

At times heartbreaking, at times harrowing, All the Leavings navigates the rugged terrain not just of the rural Oregon land where Laurie Easter has forged an off-the-grid life, but of the ragtag terrain of the human heart. At once quiet and searching, these essays lay bare the experience between mother and child, between living and dying, between the human world and nature. This is a book about love — for the child who faces a health crisis, for the friend dying of aids, for the one entangled by addiction who then disappears — while also examining the tenacity of the human condition. From one woman’s perspective as a mother, wife, and friend, All the Leavings will take readers inside a wild Oregon rich with natural beauty, while asking questions and seeking answers, capturing an interior life and the cinematic beauty of the West in prose that is, ultimately, a redemption song. From the narrator’s homebirth of her second child in an off-grid cabin to sojourns with cougars to the alternative community that grieves together the loss of one of their teenagers to suicide, place figures prominently in this non-linear, loosely chronological essay collection. All the Leavings employs a multitude of forms to probe the boundaries of mother-daughter relationships, privacy and secrets, guilt and forgiveness, crushing grief and abiding love. It will interest readers of memoir and personal essay, those who have suffered loss and grief, and those who appreciate place-based writing, particularly set in the Pacific Northwest.