It is a family story, retold. When the author’s grandfather was a child, he was caught in a forest fire. He and all the other people from the lodging house in the woods fled to the lake, standing in the water to protect themselves from the flames. They were joined there by the animals of the forest–moose and deer, foxes and wolves, rabbits, bobcats, and raccoons.
Bond spends the first part of the book delineating the hierarchy of the lodging house and showing how the boy keenly felt the distinction between inside and outside. Her sentences are full of lists and phrases, multiple clauses, creating a sense of careful order, all of which is overturned by the hours standing together in the lake.
I appreciate the atmosphere that Bond’s language and art so carefully construct. Her story seems real and mythic at the same time. It’s one I’ll be thinking about for a long time.
Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event, by Rebecca Bond. Margaret Ferguson Books: 2015.