It’s usually the case in books that the story takes place when people are not working: that’s when life, apparently, begins. Gill’s memoir flips that on its head: there is almost nothing in the book outside the work she did, along with troops of others, for almost twenty years: planting trees to replace logged clearcuts on Vancouver Island and elsewhere. The work is hard and repetitive, and she’s not sure whether it’s even doing the world any good. Why does she return every spring? Tree planting, she says—and she makes you believe it—”has a way of filling a life up with verbs.”
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
And a flashback blurb from when the book was published in 2012:
The humility that lies in the title of Charlotte Gill’s extraordinary Eating Dirt is more than borne out in this astonishing chronicle of work, the elements, and place. Charlotte Gill writes with a dexterity and nobility that soars. This is the best book, on several fronts, that I’ve read in a long time.
–Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA