In these pages, Powers not only explores this small patch of community but draws on his international experiences with other pockets of resistance. This engrossing tale of Powers s struggle for a meaningful life with a smaller footprint proposes a paradigm shift to an elusive Soft World with clues to personal happiness and global healing."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 64.
- Review Date: 2010-03-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Powers (Blue Clay People) refers to “wildcrafters,” people who shape their inner and outer worlds to the flow of nature, as heroes. Among these wildcrafters is Dr. Jackie Benton, a physician who lives in a 12'×12' dwelling in the midst of 30 acres on No Name Creek in rural North Carolina. Benton lives a sustainable life off the grid by raising honeybees, growing her own vegetables and preserving them, and harvesting what she might need from the woods around her. As Powers points out, Benton seems to have achieved self-mastery in these confusing times, and his initial meeting with her is a search for clues to this self-mastery. After the two meet, Benton's sobering and often hilarious (taking showers in rain water warmed by the sun, learning that in order to eat chicken for dinner, he himself would have to kill a chicken given to him by his neighbors) narrative of his life in the 12'×12' offers precious insights into the ways that all individuals living in a fast-paced consumer culture might incorporate different ways of thinking about the natural world into their lives. (May)