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A Separate Place: A Family, a Cabin in the…

A Separate Place: A Family, a Cabin in the Woods, and a Journey of Love…

by David Brill

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0525944974, Hardcover)

It's a dream that was old even in Thoreau's time: build a cabin in the woods, escape the city, live life on one's own terms. Like many others who grew up in the back-to-the-land days, David Brill nursed that dream while pursuing a career and living a life that kept him out of the woods and in a climate-controlled office.

Confronted with a disintegrating marriage and a deep well of unhappiness, Brill decided to make good on his desires, purchasing a patch of woodland in the Tennessee hills and building a sturdy home on the edge of the wild. A Separate Place recounts his adventures and occasional misadventures in self-transformation--which included shedding his "Banana Republic khakis, a purple L.L. Bean Gore-Tex jacket, and Birkenstock clogs" in favor of camo (and sometimes no clothes at all) and reacquainting himself with the ways of wind and weather.

"I've learned," Brill writes, "not to underestimate the appetite of a woodstove in winter, and I've developed the aim and precision necessary to drop the splitting maul right into the tiny cracks that will explode a section of seasoned hardwood." He also learned, to gauge by this touching memoir, a great deal about himself, and if his eye is more often turned inward than toward the woods, he still offers plenty of homespun advice on getting by in the forest--and on dealing with loss. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:01 -0400)

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