Once upon a time, in a bedroom far, far away, I was a different person. This person that I once was thought about being in the wilderness a lot, and about hiking, and about how it would be to live there.
And then everything changed.
And then everything changed again.
And then I had children (note: "change" is not a strong enough word for that, er, transformation).
And then one of the children, Chestnut, became 15 and had her own, different obsession with the wilderness. As a result of which she ended up reading this book, and then it all came back to me in a rush.
That is the cover this book had when I read it, and I remember the feel of it—matte and papery—and all the specific scenes. Such a strange and immediate work it is, so very compelling. My niece saw it and read it too, with the same immediate powerful draw.
What is it about this book? I do not know. I only know that it's there, and that I am now intersecting with my kids in whole new and strange ways, which I find excellent. Also, if there is a person in your life yearning for the wilderness, this is what you should hand them.