Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood

Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood

by Jonathan Johnson
     
 

Longing for a home in big, wild country that would keep them passionate and young, Jonathan Johnson and his wife, Amy, set out to build a log cabin on his family’s land in a remote and beautiful corner of Idaho. But what began as a doable dream for the two of them suddenly looks quite different when, on their first morning in the cabin—without

Overview


Longing for a home in big, wild country that would keep them passionate and young, Jonathan Johnson and his wife, Amy, set out to build a log cabin on his family’s land in a remote and beautiful corner of Idaho. But what began as a doable dream for the two of them suddenly looks quite different when, on their first morning in the cabin—without electricity, a telephone, running water, or real windows—the couple learn that Amy is pregnant.
 
In this lyrical and intimate chronicle of making a home the hard way, Johnson describes the competing joys and anxieties of preparing for fatherhood in a setting as challenging as it is promising: a paradise of mythic snowfalls and warming wood stoves and elk tracks at the front door, but also a place where vision, and even struggle and compromise, are not always enough. Hannah and the Mountain tells a rare and delicate story of two people exploring the unmapped territories of loss and grief and finding solace and grace in the mountains. It offers the reader an unforgettable portrait of a couple growing up, learning nature’s hard and beautiful lessons, and discovering a love of place and each other strong and wild enough to renew them and be carried into the future

Editorial Reviews

Western American Literature

"Johnson's skillful dialogue, attention to detail, and empathy for life make Hannah and the Mountain a memorable account. In one sense, it is the story of ordinary lives. The beauty of this story is that, in the telling of the ordinary, we are reminded how astonishing life really is."—Mandy Page, Western American Literature

— Mandy Page

Booklist

"Elegant writing and sharp dialogue mark this bittersweet account."—Booklist
Los Angeles Times

“In this memoir, the twentysomething couple make their stand amid bald eagles, elk and snow of rural northern Idaho, where they dream of having and raising their daughter. . . . It's a moving memoir of how far some will go to hold on to a dream without sacrificing their values.”—Katharine Mieszkowski, Los Angeles Times

— Katharine Mieskowski

Lewiston Tribute

“In this intimate and, at times, heartbreaking chronicle of making a home the hard way, the author details the rocky road to fatherhood and the compromises made along the way.”—Lewiston Tribute
Spokesman-Review

“A memoir of Johnson and his wife, Amy, trying to live in a rustic log cabin, 'Hannah and the Mountain' turns into a look at how life often intervenes, often not kindly, when least expected.”—Spokesman-Review
Los Angeles Times - Katharine Mieskowski

“In this memoir, the twentysomething couple make their stand amid bald eagles, elk and snow of rural northern Idaho, where they dream of having and raising their daughter. . . . It's a moving memoir of how far some will go to hold on to a dream without sacrificing their values.”—Katharine Mieszkowski, Los Angeles Times
Western American Literature - Mandy Page

"Johnson's skillful dialogue, attention to detail, and empathy for life make Hannah and the Mountain a memorable account. In one sense, it is the story of ordinary lives. The beauty of this story is that, in the telling of the ordinary, we are reminded how astonishing life really is."—Mandy Page, Western American Literature
Publishers Weekly
A couple seeks life's deeper meaning in a return to the land-"a place that would keep us young and free and filled with passion"-and faces both hardship and joy. It's a familiar American story these days, but Johnson tells it with compassion and grace, focusing in particular on his wife Amy's pregnancy and their preparations to bring a baby into their wilderness world. Amy and the author must refurbish their cabin, which is situated on his family's Idaho land; they worry about money; they debate about where Amy will give birth. But the narrative takes a wrenching turn when they learn that Amy is unlikely to carry the fetus to term. The desperate measures the author once took to save a winter-born calf poignantly resonate with the couple's ultimately futile attempts to bring their baby, Hannah, to term. A later pregnancy ends in miscarriage. These sorrows can make for grim material, and readers expecting lots of lovely nature writing will be disappointed, but Johnson is an elegant, emotive narrator; as the couple's story of healing progresses, one will sense that happiness (and a baby) will find these two eventually. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803226012
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Series:
American Lives Series
Pages:
225
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan Johnson is an assistant professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the graduate writing program at Eastern Washington University. His work has appeared in various literary magazines and in The Best American Poetry. He is the author of Mastodon, 80% Complete, a book of poems.

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