144 pages, 5 3/20 x 8 4/25
The Little Lucky
By Gail Wells
Oregon State University Press
"When you live in an old house, the remodeling and rehabilitatingnever end. I guess the same is true when you belong to a family."A ruined old schoolhouse and a loving, troubled family are at theheart of The Little Lucky, a reflec tion of the many ways in which aplace can shape and be shaped by family. In discerning and nimbleprose, Gail Wells tells the story of how she and her husband movedfrom their tiny Seattle apartment to her grandfather's house, formerlyan abandoned schoolhouse, near the Little Luckiamute River ofwestern Oregon.They work earnestly to transform the slantwise structure into a homeand discover both joy and frustration along the way. With wry clarity,Wells reveals the tangled dream of living in rural Oregon--achronically flooded basement, mouse skeletons inside the bathroomwalls, and the relentless struggle to fix the unfixable--all while raisinga family and salvaging a place alive with memories.Amid the angst of tearing down and building up, Wells discoverssomething unexpec ted: a sense of honorable struggle and the grace ofgetting what you need rather than what you want. These stories revealan intimate geography and the dynamic between family and ahomeplace. And these are also stories of acceptance, "of doing whatyou can and letting the rest go; of learning what is precious and whatis expendable; of the surprising solace of surrendering to the possible;and of gratitude for incredible good luck."
RELATED TOPICS: Reference
GAIL WELLS is an essayist and anindependent writer and editor specializingin natural resource topics. She is the authorof The Tillamook: A Created Forest Comes ofAge (OSU Press) and Lewis and Clark MeetOregon's Forests, coauthored with DawnAnzinger (distributed by OSU Press). Wellswas awarded a fellowship for the Summer2006 Fishtrap Gathering. She lives inCorvallis, Oregon.
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