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Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Open Midnight weaves two parallel stories about the great wilderness—Brooke Williams’s year alone with his dog ground truthing wilderness maps of southern Utah, and that of his great-great-great-grandfather, who in 1863 made his way with a group of Mormons from England across the wilderness almost to Utah, dying a week short. The book is also about two levels of history—pe ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Trinity University Press
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  22 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Steven Peck
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If the universe had appeared to me (in some suitable form to make me comfortable) and said, “Steve, I’m really feeling the need to make a book for you to enjoy. What would you like in it?”

I would have thought very hard for a while. Maybe a few days, then I would have said,
“So Universe, here is the book I would like you to provide. First, make it about my favorite area, you know, around Moab, where I’ve spend so much of my life wandering. And send me a good guide, not some visitor. I want the b
...more
Amber
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book particularly fascinating because I'm a local girl in Moab, UT. My book club unanimously decided upon an old Terry Tempest novel and this book by her husband Brooke Williams. I liked reading Brooke's worldly views, I specifically enjoyed his love for Utah's back country and I liked his love for Castle Valley and other surrounding areas.
I think his time spent working for SUWA as a trail researcher and the vast other wilderness protection accomplishments he has made are monumenta
...more
Crissie
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fully aware that Brooke Williams is laying out an either/or vs a both/and, I am struck with his idea of new species evolving. And this amid all the other gems in this book: his/the personal story and the collective story; the how-to of living out spirituality, of understanding and learning what is our reality; what is wilderness and how much we need it to feed us.

If only for this thought, this memoir was well worth my reading time. And will be reread. Yes, if only for this, that we are now evol
...more
Deseret News
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
"Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet" by Brooke Williams is a book of two stories. The first is the journey of the author, who is a field advocate, as he wanders the southern Utah wilderness, searching for evidence to save it from modernization. The second is the story of Williams' ancestor, William Williams, a member of a Mormon handcart company and contemporary of Charles Darwin.

As Brooke Williams tracks his ancestor's steps to the Sweetwater River, he begins to feel a spiritual
...more
Nikki
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read this book, but the back cover and even the title seemed to be misleading. While this is a tale of Southwestern Utah and the wilderness that is found there, it functions more as a spiritual manifesto than an investigation of landscape. While I didn't mind the overt leftist politics in here at all, this book is not one that I think will convince the other, more conservative side. the William Williams chapters I found to be strangely written, and t
...more
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Rob Melich
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good but not great read. The underlying theme of past, present, future humanity and the relationship of each to Brooke and in turn the planet makes for an excellent premise.
However, the book seems to drift at times and the editorial oversight of the content and flow degrade the quality of the thinking and reading experience. There is much more in the concept of the book than in the book itself.
I found the most interesting sections of the book where Brooke moves off of the storytelling related
...more
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Maineguide
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I read Mr. Williams book while traveling in his area of UT, being both familiar with his wife's books and some of his work. This book is a deeply personal book where the author shares his views on the importance of wilderness not just to the environment, but to the nature of mankind itself. It is a bold, honest look at many of wilderness' threats, particularly in Utah, including politics and the LDS church.

Parts of the book are a bit of a stretch, particularly the sections where he conjures up
...more
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