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We Took to the Woods

We Took to the Woods In her early thirties Louise Dickinson Rich took to the woods of Maine with her husband They found their livelihood and raised a family in the remote backcountry settlement of Middle Dam in the Rang

  • Title: We Took to the Woods
  • Author: Louise Dickinson Rich
  • ISBN: 9780892727360
  • Page: 497
  • Format: Paperback
  • In her early thirties, Louise Dickinson Rich took to the woods of Maine with her husband They found their livelihood and raised a family in the remote backcountry settlement of Middle Dam, in the Rangeley area Rich made time after morning chores to write about their lives We Took to the Woods is an adventure story, written with humor, but it also portrays a cherished drIn her early thirties, Louise Dickinson Rich took to the woods of Maine with her husband They found their livelihood and raised a family in the remote backcountry settlement of Middle Dam, in the Rangeley area Rich made time after morning chores to write about their lives We Took to the Woods is an adventure story, written with humor, but it also portrays a cherished dream awakened into full life First published 1942.

    • We Took to the Woods « Louise Dickinson Rich
      497 Louise Dickinson Rich
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      Posted by:Louise Dickinson Rich
      Published :2019-03-09T11:34:59+00:00

    About "Louise Dickinson Rich"

    1. Louise Dickinson Rich

      Writer known for fiction and non fiction works about New England, particularly Massachusetts and Maine Mrs Rich grew up in Bridgewater where her father was the editor of a weekly newspaper She met Ralph Eugene Rich, a Chicago businessman, on a Maine canoe trip in 1933 and they married a year later Mr Rich died in 1944 Her best known work was her first book, the autobiographical We Took to the Woods, 1942 set in the 1930s when she and husband Ralph, and her friend and hired help Gerrish, lived in a remote cabin near Lake Umbagog It was described as a witty account of a Thoreau like existence in a wilderness home

    392 Comments

    1. Favorite passage:"At night, after being at Prospect, I lie in bed and see great clusters of berries slide by endlessly against my closed lids. They haunt me. There are so many of them yet unpicked, so many that will never be picked. The birds and bears and foxes will eat a few, but most of them will drop off at the first frost, to return to the sparse soil of Prospect whatever of value they borrowed from it. Nature is strictly moral. There is no attempt to cheat the earth by means of steel vault [...]


    2. This book made me want to take to the woods, to wear my comfy clothes with no waistbands, to not fight the winter, to cook creatively, to enjoy my house and its surroundings, and to live simply. Though the story preserves some quaintness from a less modern time, Louise Rich still appeals to the modern reader.


    3. Don't ask me how I happened to stumble upon this book published in 1942. Serendipity at workd an on-going fascination with books set in Maine of late. There it was amongst the Dewey Decimal Code 917.4 books (geography of and travel in North America--New England). There I found a book to treasure.Ralph Rich bought a piece of land in rural Maine for a summer camp, after having spent boyhood summers there and feeling a fierce desire to return. On his first day there, as fate would have it, along co [...]


    4. I found the first half of the book interesting, but the later chapters seemed to be more of the same. It was a nice winter read, and my copy is an old one with a picture of snowy woods on the dust jacket, so it was visually appealing as well.


    5. My family has a summer house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, and "We Took to the Woods" has been enjoyed by many of my relatives throughout the years (we often use the term "woods queer", which Rich coined, to describe the boredom and weird behavior that sets in after spending too long in the woods!). I finally got around to reading the novel, and I am very glad I did. Rich's memoirs of her time living with her family in the Maine woods are well-written, funny, and meaningful. Several pe [...]


    6. She Took to the WoodsA review of Louise Dickenson Rich’s tale of family life in the great northern forest of Maine, ‘We Took to the Woods.’Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth; The Road Less Traveled- Robert Frost“For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us [...]


    7. Loved and just reread for a tenth time: memoir of making a home in the wild with respect, wonder, and good humor during the Depression. Enchanting. Inspiring. Funny. One of my favorite stories is of the time Louise is asked to cook for a logging crew at the dam. She has potatoes, coffee, a salmon, and not much more, but goes at it like Christ with the loaves and fishes. The hungry foreman tells her the time the crew will break for lunch and Louise sets a timer. The hungry foreman keeps sneaking [...]


    8. I read on an review that We Took to the Woods was the real deal compared to Anne LaBastille's "Barbie-doll-like" accounts of living in the wild. I have to agree, though I like Anne.Louise Dickinson Rich wasn't wealthy. She wasn't connected. Her husband was working class. And Louise Dickinson Rich was a writer by trade, naturalist by passion.So of course you're going to get better prose than Anne LaBastille (sorry, Anne) and less soap-boxing.Killer Quote:"Happy people aren't given to soul search [...]


    9. A really good read that satisfied the armchair hermit that lurks very close to the surface of my life. Louise Rich's account of her life in backwoods Maine during the 1930's and 40's was filled with insightful, witty and meaningful observations of what it takes to live this kind of life and how much she really loved it. I enjoyed all 11 chapters with their cute, questioning titles such as:Chapter IV: Isn't Housekeeping Difficult (Louise says: NO, as she's no housekeeper).Chapter V: Aren't the Ch [...]


    10. Loved this. Another book I won't part with. Another autobiographical account of a woman's life in a time and country long gone. Not feminist, simply an account. Simply written and a lovely way of life recounted. Another read that makes me fear I was born in the wrong time, envious of a more simple, even if more difficult (compared to today's standards) , way of life. I wish I'd been able to personally know the author, she was a Classy Broad.


    11. This book is delightful. It chronicles six years in the remote Maine woods in the 1930s. Rich has a wry sense of humor and insight into people. I also loved the classic Maine terms (which I had never heard until I moved to Maine 32 years ago) like "jeezly" and "culch." I highly recommend this book.



    12. If anyone else had written this book, it'd probably have been out of print many years now. Louise Dickinson Rich manages to do what few people can do: write about the mundane in a way that interests even urban folk who know next to nothing about country living.We Took to the Woodsis Rich's first autobiographical book about living in the woods of Maine in the 1930's. It's full of adventure, humor, candor and fun. I did get a little lost with all the jargon pertaining to boats and lakes, 'sluicing [...]



    13. 1/11/14 update: reread this book in three days flat. Quite the difference from last reading although I think my change in circumstances has made me feel even more like the author than ever before. To explain, Rich wrote this book in 1940s backwoods Maine. Most of the book is written from the "winter" perspective. Below freezing temps, snow, wood stoves heating spaces, wool clothes, limited access because of snow, ice, blizzards. When I first read this book I lived in moderate climate Pacific Nor [...]


    14. This book is lovely! Rich's voice is warm, matter-of-fact, and entertaining, and her word usage is delightful. I love needing to get out a dictionary for good reason and not because it seems like the author is being pushy about their verbiage. True, Rich has only been living out in the woods for 6 years, so there's something of the Walden in this one, but her stories ring true and I think her relative inexperience gives her a perspective those of us who dream of such things can relate to. She ha [...]


    15. Gosh, I loved this book by clever, articulate and witty Louise Dickinson Rich. She and her husband were original back-to-the-landers, although they didn't think of themselves as such. They just liked living in a wild, natural place -- in this case, the backwoods of Maine -- and were perfectly content to enjoy each other's company, along with their hired hand and their two children. Louise writes entertainingly about the other backwoods folks in their community, plus the "sports" who came to visi [...]


    16. I liked this. Yes, it is a tad dated and sometimes the narrative seems a little childish but overall it was a wonderful story. Part of what was rewarding is that I'm very familiar with the area in which it takes place, adding to my positive experience. I also gravitate to tales about people living in extraordinary situations. And, I love tales about nature. The only negative comment I would have is that while it did have a beginning and a middle it really didn't really seem to have a finish. The [...]


    17. I stumbled across this book during a sleepless night while staying at my parent's house in Maine last week. I am wary of homesteading books that write from a sentimental, self righteous perspective, and was thrilled to find this book to be the polar opposite. Louise Dickinson Rich is funny, practical, often self effacing (but not in a weird insecure way) and just plain downright real! My family roots are in Northern Maine, so perhaps that helps to explain the connection I felt with this memoir. [...]


    18. There's not much more that can be said about this book, probably up there with the top 10 memoirs of the 20th century. It's never, ever been out of print, which says a lot! If you read it, you'll feel like it was written yesterday and not in the 30's, such is Rich's tone---clear and humorous and ageless. For anyone who has dreamt of living it all behind and living in the woods, this is a book not to be missed.


    19. Love this book on so many levels. Delighted to have found a copy on the sale shelves of my local friends of the library & can't wait to share it with my friends. A must for anyone who enjoys homesteading, memoirs, or just good story-telling. Mrs. Rich is a wonderful companion: forthright, humorous and sharp-sighted. Her occasional poetic flights in the midst of otherwise workmanlike writing are a heart-opening delight.


    20. This book is really about nothing in particular. It's just the author's observations on life in the woods. However, it is excellent! She has a phenomenal way with words and it turns this "about nothing" book into a "can't put it down" book. I highly recommend.


    21. One of those books where I like that it exists a little more than I like actually reading it. A great voice detailing a great existence. But you have to be really hungry for the details of primitive living in the woods to keep from skimming big chunks. Still, a rich nourishing friendly read.


    22. This is a book I will read more than once. Times have changed but what I really enjoyed most about this book was the connection with and love of nature - that is timeless.To live in a place where we are completely content and comfortable is truly a gift.



    23. The cover says perennial bestseller. I very much doubt that. It's an obscure book. It jumps around too much for my liking, perhaps not a lot of planning and chapters written at long separated time intervals. It does reference a long gone time of homesteading in the far back country. No power and no plumbing all year round in the Maine woods.I enjoyed it fine but it isn't great literature. And frankly in many places it needs editing.


    24. Absolutely wonderful! I fear storytellers like Rich are a thing of the past. She manages to weave everyday stories into a book that never feels disjointed. I'm certain I heard the river a few times while I was reading and I'd sure like to meet some of those lumber camp fellows. If you are a fan of Helen Hoover, you'll adore Louise Dickinson Rich and We Took to the Woods!


    25. I really enjoyed this one and frequently forgot that it was written 70+ years ago. The author must have been a real hoot in her time. I really loved her voice, and I longed to join her in the Maine woods!


    26. 4.5 stars. Great book, loved the author's sense of humor and honesty. There were just a couple spots that dragged a touch, but loved experiencing life with her in the deep woods of Maine. Definitely a keep and reread book!



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