In the late 1980’s, a young Rick Bass and his wife were searching for the ideal rural location where a writer and his artist wife could let their creative juices flow. Southerner’s themselves, they traveled to New Mexico and other southern locales hoping to find that perfect place to rent. Unfortunately, their budget pretty much ruled out a comfortable climate. A friend told them about Montana, and they headed north, ending up in a remote border town called Yaak.
The book is Rick Bass’s memoir of that first winter in the forested valley that is northern Montana. It is truly wonderful, and as I was reading this each night, a calm would come over me, and I could see myself in this little lodge, with a crackling fire and a couple of dogs at the hearth. And when I’d wake up in the morning, I’d laugh at myself, because I live right next door to Montana and actually know what the winters are like, and know full well that I would not do well miles from the nearest grocery store or snowed in for weeks.
But really, this was a gem of a book. It took you to this magical place without any real-life discomforts to distract you from the beauty of Montana’s natural paradise.
4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1992