Lost in the Woods: Building a Life Up North

Richard Hill. Gale Force, $19.95 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-0-9817371-4-0
In painstaking detail, Hill (Hitchhiking After Dark) describes how he and his wife ditched their suburban existence and moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to build a log home. Every step of the 20-year process is meticulously described, sometimes to a fault, as Hill calls on sisu (the “strength of will and perseverance” exhibited by his Finnish ancestors) to battle flaky subcontractors, shoddy work, and nature itself in the form of brutal winters, “mysterious looking forms of mold,” and dry rot. The tight focus on carpentry, plumbing, masonry, and other construction activities overshadows the lives of the humans orchestrating the project—Hill suffers the loss of an elderly parent, raises two boys to adulthood, and establishes a fledgling furniture business—as the narrative tends to skate past anything not construction related. Still, anyone contemplating building a home can learn much from the author’s experience, perhaps most importantly how to summon the sisu to see the project through. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/27/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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