A Match to the Heart

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Penguin Books, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
2 Reviews
"Before electricity carved its blue path toward me, before the negative charge shot down from cloud to ground...before air expanded and contracted producing loud pressure pulses I could not hear because I was already dead, I had been walking." So opens Gretel Ehrlich's absorbing account of being struck by lightning. Only when she fell to the ground, her head and body hitting on rock, was she jolted back to consciousness, back to life. In this astonishing chronicle of her experience and of the physical, psychological, and spiritual consequences of the encounter, the author turns her acute naturalist's eye on herself and on the natural world of the body to understand exactly what happened when lightning struck her. Woven into the narrative of her recovery is an examination of the heart - medical, religious, and cultural: There is the path of healing that she traveled not only with the requisite cardiologist but, to quite amazing effect, with her dogs as well. And finally, there is water, and the ways in which, in its contemplation and its immersion, she learned how fire can be extinguished. A Match to the Heart is a stunning work of observation and synthesis: bringing together the most minute self-exploratory and an enlarging, illuminating vision of the world.

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User Review  - elliepotten - LibraryThing

Jeeez, this has been hard going for such a tiny book. It sounded so fascinating, but sadly what I EXPECTED from it turned out to only be a small part of the book as a whole. When Ehrlich is talking ... Read full review

A match to the heart

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Acclaimed for The Solace of Open Spaces ( LJ 11/1/85), Ehrlich here reveals that scary things can happen in open spaces, too. She recounts being struck and momentarily killed. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Gretel Ehrlich is a poet and writer whose work includes This Cold Heaven; The Solace of Open Spaces; Islands, the Universe; the novel, Heart Mountain; and the memoir A Match to the Heart. She is the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award and the Henry David Thoreau Prize.

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