These are some of the items that Adrian Hoover jotted down on his to-do list, soon after he and his wife, Helen, gave up urban comforts for the deeper delights of the wilderness in 1954. The Years of the Forest by Helen Hoover elaborates on that deceptively short list and describes the difficulties inherent in accomplishing each of those tasks. In fact, it would take sixteen years to check off every item. This is the story of the Hoovers' education in wilderness housekeeping, and of the surprising challenges they faced at each step.
There are priceless hints and how-to's for solving the problems of living close to nature and on good terms with one's neighbors -- bluejays, weasels, field mice, and deer. There is plenty of magic in this guide, delightfully illustrated by Adrian Hoover. Now in paperback for the first time, this book tells the story of going bark to the land, with all its rough edges and incomparable rewards.
Mrs. Hoover has recorded in other books her satisfying if strenuous wilderness life in northern Minnesota with her husband Adrian (who again supplies illustrations). But this memoir, which covers the years 1957-1966, is overcast with the sadness of farewell to the wilderness as they knew it and she recalls the telltale signs of encroaching change, weighted with portent. The bulldozers crunch away, here and there, now and then; hunters - ridiculous-to-downright-sinister - threaten and destroy some of the Hoovers' animal friends; power lines, roads, boats and noisy, oil-leaking snowmobiles zoom into the "innocent forest." Again Mrs. Hoover recounts the fortunes of the animals they observe and feed - from deer, lynx, bears, and small mammals to tame household mice - many of which will be recognized by readers of The Gift of the Deer (1966), and tells amusing tales of domestic mishaps. Mrs. Hoover, who can and does wave a rifle at cloddish intruders, is a spunky woodswoman with a fiery sense of human and animal territoriality and it is this wood-chip on the shoulder which prevents sentimentality from seeping in. At the close she accepts the encircling outsiders with regret but is comforted by the inner permanence of "my place in the world of my time." A very personal testament - and an implicit warning to those who would mistake the woods for a hiding place. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Books (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st March 1999
Publisher: UNIV OF MINNESOTA PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.78 x 13.87
Weight (kg): 0.42