To read the books of Virginia Stem Owens is to understand what Dylan Thomas once called "the mystery of having been moved by words." Her style is contemplative, ecstatic, tender and always yearning for a purer vision of reality and grace. Wind River Winter is her account of watching the world die and be reborn in the desolate Wind River mountains of Wyoming. By attuning her mind to the enormous cadence of autumn and winter, she contemplates the balance of life and death, the world's and her own. Her writing, as beautiful as the best of Annie Dillard or John McPhee, will appeal to anyone who finds the power of language as awesome a power as nature itself.