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Breaking Into the Backcountry Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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"Steve Edwards left Indiana for seven months of solitude in Oregon's Rogue River Canyon. As he offered himself up to his fears, his loneliness, a pathway of heart and mindfulness opened from within to lead him through his sojourn and into this story. Quietly and clearly told, unflaggingly honest, Breaking into the Backcountry joins a growing body of contemporary writing in the American contemplative tradition. It's a beautiful book." --John Daniel, author of The Far Corner and Rogue River Journal
"Steve Edwards's Rogue River wilderness is a place that offers many gifts, among them the words in this beautifully rendered, wonder-filled book. On its pages, we are invited to move beyond cynicism, loss, and fear---as he does-in order to embrace the life-changing 'miracle of solitude.'" --John T. Price, author of Not Just Any Land and Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships
About the Author
Steve Edwards lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife and young son.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
First, there is the prose, which is exquisite. There are lyrical passages full of rich detail--sentences strung together with a seemingly effortless cadence, phrases that are ripe with perfect, often surprising word choice. I do not often underline passages in books I read. But I did it with Steve Edwards' Breaking into the Backcountry. A lot.
The story begins with the author feeling more than a little fear and trepidation. He has recently won a writing contest. The prize includes seven months as a caretaker of an isolated homestead in Oregon where the author will perform chores and write. There will be no electricity. There will be bears. He is understandably unsettled.
Breaking into the Backcountry is more than a description of a beautiful and challenging landscape. It is more than a chronicle of the difficulty adjusting to the isolation, to the long days and weeks alone. It is an achingly personal story, detailing the pain the then-twenty-something author both suffered and inflicted during an early divorce, his reactions to the September 11th terrorist attacks which took place while he was at the homestead, and his unflinching quest to conquer his fears, to grow as a person.
Over time, he learns important, transformative lessons the homestead could do nothing else but teach him. He settles into it. He relaxes. He comes to value the solitude, to feel peace there . And this is how I felt every time I picked up the book--soothed. I found that I looked forward to reading not just to know what happened next--would a bear attack, would lightning ignite the dry brush, would the author go mad-- but because there was a palpable peace that came over me when I read.
If you are looking for a beautifully written, thoughtful, insightful read, I highly recommend Steve Edwards' Breaking into the Backcountry.