Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cabin - Ureneck

Lou Ureneck is a middle-aged man, newly divorced, and is looking to find some "coherence" in his life. He decides to get back to nature, as he always did as a child. He calls his brother, Paul, and asks him to help him build a Cabin.

Not the first home they have built, he and his brother (and his nephews and their friends) attack the year long project with differing skills and goals. While Ureneck utilizes the opportunity to reconnect with his brother (and attempts to make amends for periods in their lives when he feels he was unavailable to his brother, particularly during his mother's demise and death), his brother utilizes the time to find breathing space and clarity from a failing marriage and a need for freedom.  For both, the cabin represents an opportunity to heal from the stresses of adulthood and a difficult childhood.

Ureneck points out, "I was both making a shelter and trying to write a poem". And, though written in prose, he did  exactly that. Cabin is an ode - to the Maine countryside and it's history, to the fragility, restorative powers, and importance of nature, and to family.

A memoir written from the  heart, this is a wonderful read. Ureneck is clearly a professional and though the book at times seems ramblings and unfocused, perhaps that matches the building process itself. To better understand how, you'll just have to read the book.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.