The Field House: A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine

The Field House: A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine

by Robin Clifford Wood
The Field House: A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine

The Field House: A Writer's Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine

by Robin Clifford Wood


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Born of illustrious New England stock, Rachel Field was a National Book Award–winning novelist, a Newbery Medal–winning children’s writer, a poet, playwright, and rising Hollywood success in the early twentieth century. Her light was abruptly extinguished at the age of forty-seven, when she died at the pinnacle of her personal happiness and professional acclaim.

Fifty years later, Robin Clifford Wood stepped onto the sagging floorboards of Rachel’s long-neglected home on the rugged shores of an island in Maine and began dredging up Rachel’s history. She was determined to answer the questions that filled the house’s every crevice: Who was this vibrant, talented artist whose very name entrances those who still remember her work? Why is that work—so richly remunerated and widely celebrated in her lifetime—so largely forgotten today? The journey into Rachel’s world took Wood further than she ever dreamed possible, unveiling a life fraught with challenge, and buried by tragedy, and yet incandescent with joy.

The Field House is a book about beauty—beauty in Maine island landscapes, in friendship, love, and heartbreak; beauty hidden beneath a woman’s woefully unbeautiful exterior; beauty in a rare, delightful spirit that still whispers from the past. Just listen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647420451
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 05/04/2021
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,117,158
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Robin Clifford Wood has a BA from Yale University, an MA in English from the University of Rochester, and an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. During twenty-five years as a full-time mom, she published local human-interest features in New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts and spent seven years as a regular columnist, first in Massachusetts, then for Maine’s Bangor Daily News. She began teaching college writing in 2015. Her articles have appeared in Port City Life magazine, Bangor Metro, and Solstice literary magazine, which published her powerful essay “How Do You Help Your Parents Die?” in its spring 2019 issue. For more information, visit Wood lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs. The Field House is her first book.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The Illustrious Field Family 11

2 Inside-Self and Outside-Self 25

3 Beauty, Loss, and the Emergence of a Poet's Heart 49

4 If Once You Have Slept on an Island 64

5 Special Student 82

6 Taxis and Toadstools 96

7 The Lonely and Difficult Years 116

8 Spriggin, the Whippet, and the Birth of Hitty 126

9 Mr. Mississippi 144

10 The Newbery Medal 180

11 Love and Pain, Bound Up in Time 199

12 Newlyweds and Nomads 231

13 Not Every Bud May Bear 262

14 All This and Heaven Too 276

15 Hannah 287

16 Hope and Motherhood 311

17 Miracle 324

18 You'll Never Be Quite the Same 333

19 And Now Tomorrow 345

Acknowledgments 349

Notes 353

Credits 378

About the Author 379

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