Cabin by Lou Ureneck
Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine

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Synopsis

Inspired by his From the Ground Up blog for the New York Times, a beautifully written memoir about building and brotherhood

Confronted with the disappointments and knockdowns that can come in middle age—job loss, the death of his mother, a health scare, a divorce—Lou Ureneck needed a project that would engage the better part of him and put him back in life's good graces. City-bound for a decade, Lou decided he needed to build a simple post-and-beam cabin in the woods. He bought five acres in the hills of western Maine and asked his younger brother, Paul, to help him.

Twenty years earlier the brothers had built a house together. Now Lou saw working with Paul as a way to reconnect with their shared history and to rediscover his truest self. As the brothers—with the help of Paul's sons—undertake the challenging construction, nothing seems to go according to plan. But as they raise the cabin, Ureneck eloquently reveals his own evolving insights into the richness and complexity of family relationships, the healing power of nature, and the need to root oneself in a place one can call home. With its exploration of the satisfaction of building and of physical labor, Cabin will also appeal to readers of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft, and Tracy Kidder's House.


 

About Lou Ureneck

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LOU URENECK is a journalism professor at Boston University and a former newspaper editor at the Portland Press Herald in Maine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. His first book, Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska, received the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award. He lives in Boston and near Bethel, Maine.
 
Published September 15, 2011 by Penguin Books. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cabin

Kirkus Reviews

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There, Ureneck, along with his brother and his brother’s sons, spent the latter part of 2008 and all of 2009 constructing the cabin, “employing, as much as possible, old-fashioned wood joinery rather than nails.” At first, this “experiment in mental health” was the author’s way to enjoy the two t...

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

Publishers Weekly

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Ureneck is no stranger to the outdoors: his first book, Backcast: Fatherhood, Flyfishing and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska, was a satisfying and illuminating look at the connections between internal and external landscapes.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

New York Journal of Books

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“Cabin is a journey into one man’s heart and soul as he rediscovers himself, his worth, and his family.”Life offers many obstacles and challenges, and it is not unusual when one is standing on the threshold of the sixth decade to question the roads they have taken and the obstacles endured.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

Star Tribune

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Ureneck's book is more about the act of escape than what he was escaping from, and that makes it all the stronger.

Sep 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

Book Reporter

Lou Ureneck is a journalism professor who has built a cabin in the Maine woods, in small but significant ways recalling Henry David Thoreau.

Sep 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

AARP

Enjoy three fun-filled days of activities — and don't-miss concerts by The Temptations, The Four Tops and Shania Twain.

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

California Literary Review

“In this experiment in mental health, building the cabin with Paul was one of the reasons I wanted to build it at all,” Ureneck recalls thinking when he first imagined a cabin in the woods.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream,...

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