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Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  107 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
An intimate and uplifting book about finding renewal and hope through grief and loss.

“It was a terrible life; it was an enchanted life; it was a blessed life. And, of course, one day it ended.” —Sharon Butala

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End, and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal comes a revelatory new book
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Simon Schuster
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Friederike Knabe
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-lit, memoirs
Sharon Butala's Where I live now is categorized under biography/autobiography but that appears to me too narrow a description. It is not only "a journey through love and loss to healing and hope" as the subtitle states, it is a profound meditation on life, love and the natural world which surrounded her and her husband of more than thirty years. Sharon Butala writes with honesty and tenderness and invites the reader into her private world while sharing many insights gained over the years that go ...more
Jill Robbertze
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Although it's theme is that of the author's experience of the loss of her husband and how she endures and by necessity drastically changes her lifestyle, this is more a beautiful memoir of a wonderful marriage and their lives as farmers in Saskatchewan. Sharon Butala's writing comes over like a conversation with an old friend. Thought-provoking, beautifully written, amazing descriptions, interesting facts and much more all made this a real gem.
Tammy Lee
I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads first-reads giveaway. I love reading Canadian authors, so I was so excited to be able to get an advance reader's copy. And from an author whose other novels I have enjoyed!
In this memoir, Sharon Butala walks through her memories of her drastic life change in her 30's, choosing a new life with husband Peter, which took her from city life to a remote, somewhat secluded small community in southwest Saskatchewan, where he ran his family cattle and hay ranch.
Cathryn Wellner
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
When I moved to rural British Columbia, a friend gave me a copy of Butala's The Perfection of the Morning. The experience of a woman displaced from the urban, professional life where she was comfortable in her skin moved me to the core. I was heading for my first experience of rural living, ill-equipped for what I would find there.

Rural life never fit like a comfortable shoe, but I came to love the people and landscape and the Big Lessons of a life so different from anything I had known. Sharon
Catherine Coles
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The author tells of her late in life marriage to a Saskatchewan famer (cut short by his cancer diagnosis), the ecology and history of the land he tended, how she grieved his death and moved on (literally) in the aftermath. This short, thoughtful memoir packs in a lot of content. A bit slow, but will have the reader thinking about their place in the world.

Magdalen Bowyer
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
There are stories within Sharon’s stories that are my stories and maybe your stories, too. Because this is what happens when one woman speaks the truth of her life — the world breaks open.

The world of light and love and knowing and connection and deeper understanding.

Back in 1985, I was driving through the Cypress Hills-Fort Walsh area with my parents. I was a “new” widow and taking refuge in Mom and Dad’s company. And much like Sharon writes about, one of the deep pleasures of prairie life are
Laina SpareTime
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Cross-posted from my blog where there's more information on where I got my copy and links and stuff.

don't read a lot of memoir or non-fiction in general besides research when I write books, and that's mostly mythology stuff, but I found this interesting. I live in Saskatchewan myself, and one of the places mentioned in the book is actually where I was born. Most of where she talks about is southwest Saskatchewan and I don't live exactly there, but it's a small province and I found it very inter
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book nicely bookends Butala's acclaimed The Perfection of the Morning in which she tells the story of how a girl born and raised in northern Saskatchewan but educated and employed as an academic comes to live on a large ranch in the southwest of the province. She learns to love and appreciate the flora and fauna of the area as well as the land itself when relocating following her marriage. Where I Live Now deals with her leaving the area she has learned to love after thirty-three years and ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Where I Live Now is a deeply rewarding book that explores the way in which our environment, our landscape, both confines and enlarges our humanity. But that's already too narrow--Sharon Butala writes movingly of a landscape still largely populated by coyotes, owls, wolves, cattle. I loved her description of cows in the herd on the Butala ranch waiting "patiently at the northeast gate" for the annual move, at the approach of the harsh Saskatchewan winter, to the shelter of the valley on the hay f ...more
Enid Wray
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful evocation of a life, a love and a place... on a marriage, on making a new life for oneself while growing old, and finding ones true self in nature.
It reads like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking meets Candace Savage's The Geography of Blood.
Strikes a deep chord with the prairie girl in me, even though I never lived on the farm, it runs deep in the blood. When she speaks of the British inheritance system - that sees the women especially lose their ties to the land - that's m
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book from a humble and renowned Canadian prairie author! When I picked it up, just intending to read a few pages before starting the other library book I had picked up yesterday, I read a quarter of the book before I could put it down.

I have read some of her previous non-fiction and fiction, including "The Perfection of the Morning", and found them all moving. I have visited the Cypress Hills AB and Sask areas and south of Maple Creek, the landscape and history about which she writes,
Sarah Boon
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
My sense is that Butala was hoping to write something along the lines of Didion's Year of a Magical Thinking, which recounts Didion's life in the year following the sudden death of her husband.
But Butala's situation is much different. Not only does her husband not die suddenly, she loses not only his company, but the landscape they lived in and that nourished her for over 30 yrs.
I felt like she tries so hard to describe what those dual losses were like and what they meant for her life as a wido
Lesbianfunworld Online
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-queer-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading Butala’s descriptions of how she found a connection to nature during her time on the ranch. I think I expected this book to be more about the relationship between the author and her late husband, but by the end of the book it became clear how very private she is, as was her husband. I think this book is a lovely testament to their relationship, but I would’ve liked to have read more about that rather than her self-discovery over her decades on the ranch. Having said that, her d ...more
Lori Bamber
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little book about mostly nothing, and yet, about the things that are most essential to life: who we are, where we live, how we engage with the world around us, us in nature, us in community, marriage, grief, death, motherhood, divorce, step-parenting, loneliness, isolation, solitude, writing, creative expression... and so on.

I'm glad I read it.
Colette Connors
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I have loved Sharon Butala's writing for a very long time,especially The Perfection of the Morning.This book will introduce you to her and her life with Peter and Nature if you have not read her work before.
I found her perspective on grief and aging beautiful.
Kathryn Bagg
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Butala, as she graciously came to speak at a meeting of my book club.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It's so difficult to critique memoirs - especially such a personal one. This one didn't resonate with me as much as I'd expected.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of quiet beauty and wisdom
Linda Farr
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
It started out slow and very ho hum....and when it gripped my attention I was caught wholly...a story that could resonate with many...loved it..
Thanks Bonnie for the recommendation!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Won an ARC of this book from Goodreads giveaway. Inspiring Canadian memoir about a widow who uproots her life to move to a remote community in southwest Saskatchewan. It is her remarkable story that tells her journey through life and loss. The author did an excellent job of writing this book and I am sure anyone who has suffered the loss of a love one would find this book an inspiration for their journey through life.
Melanie Wilson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Where I Live Now-Sharon Butala

A beautiful memoir that I found very helpful, reminding me to appreciate the small moments of remembrance that we have after the pain of losing someone we so much loved.

I received this book through Goodreads
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful journey through life and loss, but it is so much more than that. Sharon is a gifted story teller, and breaks down life, love and loss in a way that really speaks to the soul. So many times I felt I was there with her staring over aces of unspoiled land or up to thousands of stars and contemplating the meaning of our existence. A great read
Huguette Larochelle
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
i win this book,
a memoir of a woman that love nature, and can see things that most of us cannot see,
and mourn the lost of her husband .
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads first-reads giveaway.

Amazingly vivid and evocative story of love and loss, healing and hope. It is quite inspiring and uplifting in its message. Anyone has suffered loss of a loved one can relate to this book, which is well written and easy to read.
Samantha Gunning
Jan 29, 2017 marked it as to-read
I won this book via Goodreads Giveaway. I recieved an advanced readers paperback copy.
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Sharon Butala (born Sharon Annette LeBlanc, August 24, 1940 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian writer and novelist.

Her first book, Country of the Heart, was published in 1984 and won the Books in Canada First Novel Award.

As head of the Eastend Arts Council she spearheaded the creation of the Wallace Stegner House Residence for Artists in which Wallace Stegner's childhood home was turned into