Liralen's Reviews > Prairie Silence: A Memoir

Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert
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's review
Jun 17, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, lgbtq, z-2014, religion, take-back-the-night, reviewed, nature, trifecta

Going home to North Dakota is not what Hoffert expects. Her homecoming is temporary -- although she flirts with the idea of permanence, as her story goes on it is ever more clear that she won't find quite what she seeks.

But that's interesting, too, because, Hoffert seeks both good and bad in North Dakota. She's homesick for the wide-open spaces and the matter-of-fact way of life in North Dakota. (She's somewhat embarrassed to note how little she knows about farm life, despite having grown up as a child of farmers.) She's also looking for proof that North Dakota, and North Dakotans, cannot and will not accept her because she is a lesbian.

In the end, as Hoffert gradually realises that her flirtation isn't meant to go further, but also that her secrets -- her silences -- are not as secret as she had thought, the book becomes as much a meditation on growing up and (not) coming out as it is an exploration of homecoming. It wanders a lot, more than I would have liked in places, but the writing is lovely...and I have to respect that she's able to take it all in, realise that her expectations have not been met, and work to figure out what the reality is instead.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 17, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
June 17, 2013 – Shelved
June 18, 2013 – Shelved as: nonfiction
June 18, 2013 – Shelved as: lgbtq
September 14, 2014 – Shelved as: z-2014
September 14, 2014 – Shelved as: religion
September 14, 2014 – Shelved as: take-back-the-night
September 21, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
February 8, 2015 – Shelved as: nature
March 6, 2015 – Shelved as: trifecta

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