Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris


“Nature, in Dakota, can indeed be an experience of the holy.”

I ran across a review of Dakota on Goodreads, and couldn’t believe I had not heard of this book before.  As a native North Dakotan and someone who is on a faith journey herself, Dakota seemed to be a must read for me.

The author, Kathleen Norris, has had an interesting journey in her own right.  She was born in Washington DC, but spent summers in South Dakota with her grandparents.  Eventually, she found her calling as a writer (poetry, to be exact) and furthered her career in New York City.  Like many of us who left small towns and suburbia for urban centers, Ms. Norris felt that she had outgrown the religion she grew up with.  And yet, she still had a spiritual longing.  In Dakota, through a series of essays and poems, the reader is able to journey with Kathleen Norris as she navigates her spiritual inheritance and finally makes peace with it.

“Ironically, it is in choosing the stability of the monastery or the Plains, places where nothing ever happens, places the world calls dull, that we discover that we can change.  In choosing a bare-bones existence, we are enriched, and can redefine success as an internal process rather than an outward display of wealth and power.”

This is such a beautiful book.  Norris’ writing is breathtaking and in Dakota, she bares her soul in an effort of devotion and instruction.  I will have to read this again and again.

5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1993
232 pages


About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
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