Vermont Odysseys

C. L. Gilbert, Editor Plume Books $10.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-452-26649-0
This unremarkable collection gathers the sentiments of 15 Vermont-lovers, each extolling the pleasures of the state's pristine but endangered natural setting and the decency of its down-to-earth inhabitants. Douglas Wilhelm finds relief from the ``massacre in the world'' in the peaceable common sense of Vermont's people, believing that ``Places like Montpelier can be . . . fulcrums for a better-changing world.'' Geof Hewitt tells of the ups and downs of life on the farm, most notably the trials of building a functional outhouse. Eventually leaving his homestead behind, he hopes that he and his family will be ``prepared if circumstance or choice return them to the simple life.'' Other essays decry the increasing ``gentrification'' of Vermont and the migration of outsiders to the Green Mountain State. Although idiosyncratic charm is in abundance here, the provincialism of several of these pieces prevents readers from adequately identifying with the authors' experience. On the contrary, the writers' conservative views and nostalgic, postcard-like perceptions often serve to push us away. Gilbert is a freelance writer and editor. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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