WOODSWOMAN by Anne LaBastille

WOODSWOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anne LaBastille took to the woods--the Adirondacks--when her estranged husband gave her until the start of the tourist season to vacate the inn they ran together. What may have started as a withdrawal turned into a source of strength as she built her own log cabin (from 45 spruce logs towed to her lakeside landing), stocked her woodpile for the winter, learned to live without electricity, telephone, or motor road, and in time became so thoroughly at home that she was able to qualify as a professional Adirondack guide. (Only two or three of about 250 are women.) She also managed, on the outside, to earn a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology, the basis of her living as a consultant (specializing in the tropics) and a writer-photographer. During her ten years on Black Bear Lake snowmobiles arrive, turning winter into a second social season for the natives (LaBastille claims that, except for the noise, they do less damage in the Adirondacks than elsewhere), and bigger and bigger motorboats end the summer stillness. But minks, raccoons, and beavers carry on, her ""close and constant companions"" the trees remain, and reconnoitering yields a wealth of Adirondack lore. At the close she lets a lover go rather than leave. Speaking of what she might call the men in her life, this woodswoman turns coy, and the writing in general is pedestrian; but who can gainsay anyone who lies on the shore of a hidden lake watching the rise of an enormous summer moon at the very moment ""three astronauts were walking on its surface""? The videotapes, says this sometime Thoreau, would always be around.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
ISBN: 0140153349
Publisher: Dutton