Critic's Notebook

Where Did the Wandering Goose Go?

Baker Heather Earnhardt’s story of love and loss.

By Kathryn Robinson September 23, 2013

Lovers of the Wandering Goose, Heather Earnhardt’s Capitol Hill bakery and restaurant, are about to become lovers of The Wandering Goose, the children’s book she’s just released (Sasquatch Books, $15.95).   

Subtitled “a modern fable of how love goes,” The Wandering Goose spins the tale of Bug and Goose, a wistful story of two creatures who came together, fell in love, then split apart when Goose heeded his soul’s demand to fly off to a new adventure.

It’s Earnhardt’s own story. After enduring the loss of both her baby daughter and then her marriage, Earnhardt met the man who became the character “Goose.” In the book, emblematic of the author’s soulful gastronomic spirit, the garden is where they met, feasting is how they loved (“They ate thump-ripe watermelons and gorged themselves on sweet greens,”), the rain is how she grieved—and the garden, coming full circle, is where she healed.

Winsome illustrations from local artist Frida Clements drape Earnhardt’s words in magic—words (“You have made your way into this heart of mind like a stone falling into a clear pool,”) restaurant regulars will recognize from their inscription in the restaurant’s tables.  

Words which get at the ineffable mystery of the cycle of life, and of the many ways it feeds us. A book for wise children and beauty-loving adults.


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