Book Review: We Took To the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich
"There is nothing that I so admire as purposefulness. I have an enormous respect for people who know exactly what they are doing and where they are going. Such people are compact and integrated. They have clear edges. They give an impression of invulnerability and balance, and I wish that I were one of them" (Rich, 13).
I first heard of this book via Soulemama's blog (yes, I even love her taste in literature, let alone crafts) and thought it looked like an interesting read. I checked it out at the library, and got the first version, printed in 1942. This book was a fascinating read, light-hearted and easy to understand, and somehow, a peaceful read, too, which was just what I was looking for.
This is a memoir of sorts about the author whose family up and left the "Outside" for a more simple life deep in the backwoods of Maine. With no running water, heat from a wood-burning stove, and only a few sets of lumberjack-type clothes, she describes why the busyness of her hands and the beauty of the land are far more important to her than hearing the latest Hollywood gossip, and wearing the latest fashions. Dickinson Rich has a great sense of humor, and I even found myself putting my grandmother's voice to hers, laughing out loud at some of the experiences of living in the woods, including rambunctious fishing tales, working with her husband every day for 4 years straight, and keeping a skunk as a pet. The book is only 300-some pages, and is very much a mixture of essay and nature writing. A good book for the enviornmentalist or a handmade pledger.
4 out of 5 stars, and perhaps a spot on in my permanant library.