A Place In The Woods
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A Place In The Woods

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Helen Hoover and her husband, Adrian, were trailblazers in the American back-to-the-land movement. Well ensconced in their professional lives in Chicago, they made the decision to follow their dream of a simple existence, pulling up their stakes and plunging into the wilds of northern Minnesota.
A Place in the Woods, first published in 1969, describes how the Hoovers gradua...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published May 12th 1969)
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Angela
I picked this up at least a year ago at a book sale at the church I used to work at. I finally got around to reading it on vacation in Ely.

Written in the late 1960s, A Place in the Woods is Ms. Hoover's account of the first year she and her husband spent in their new home in the north woods of Minnesota, in 1954.

I have to admit I didn't know how lovely the book was going to be. I expected it to be full of dated opinions on nature and women's roles. I was happily surprised to learn that Helen Hoo...more
Mia
I got this book many years ago as one of those Readers Digest condensed books. I loved it back then & years later I struggled trying to recall the authors name & the name of the book but it wasn't until the internet came along that I was able to find it.
With nothing more to go on except I was sure The Woods was a part of the title - I finally found it & was able to read it again. And again I found I loved this book.
Helen & her husband Adrian leave their jobs & the city to liv...more
Jen Topp
I picked this book because it fit the bill of my people-who-get-away-to-the-country books (a book to help me dream of joining them) but this book was actually about getting away from it ALL. Wow! Two people who worked in Chicago chucking all the mod cons to live in a summer cabin in Minnesota year 'round. A SUMMER CABIN, people. Great writing and a glimpse into an experience I would love to have....in theory. Thank god we can read books and feel like we've done it without having to actually do i...more
Dan
I love to read accounts of people who set out to live somewhere new, particularly when it is in a remote and rustic location. This account of the Hoover's moving to northern Minnesota is one of my favorites. It describes the many struggles and triumphs the author and her husband faced after leaving successful careers as engineers to live a rustic lifestyle in the north woods. I love this book and have read it several times.
Megan
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but it was wonderfully refreshing. It doesn't pretend to be philosophical but there are some profound insights into Man's relationship with the natural world. It almost made me want to move to the Big Woods somewhere.
JoAnne Monahan
This book will have you wishing to live with someone you love in the woods far away from all the stress and hassle of our regular lives.
Elinor
There are many books written by people who decide to pursue a lifestyle closer to nature, but rarely has there ever been a couple so inept as author Helen Hoover and her husband Adrian. They gave up their jobs in the city of Chicago, and purchased a cabin in northern Minnesota in 1954, without being aware that they needed a source of heat during the winter. I kid you not. Nevertheless, she is honest about their failings, and writes very entertainingly. The couple resided in the back woods for 16...more
Rachel Whitley
This is the story of how a suburban couple leaves all the comforts of modern civilization, in order to experience the beauty of the Minnesota wilderness. The book takes on a "Little House on the Prairie" quality, as Helen Hoover details the struggles she and her husband go through as they learn to cope without electricity, close neighbors, and access to the amenities of modern life. She describes the breathtaking scenery beautifully, but her true gift is in bringing the animals to... (show more...more
Hannah
In the mid-1950's Helen and Adrian Hoover left their professional life in Chicago behind and bought some land and a log cabin in the Minnesota wilderness on the banks of Lake Superior.

"A Place in the Woods" was Helen's description of their struggles, disasters, challenges and triumphs as the couple created a new way of life among the numerous animals and much less numerous people living miles away.

Helen's writing style was easy, natural and sometimes lyrical. You can tell she loved the outdoors,...more
Kathleen
Very interesting true story of a city couple from Chicago who move to the north woods of MN in 1954. It bogs down in a lot of unnecessary details, and leaves out some necessary ones. And (cynical me) I couldn't help but ask myself throughout the whole book: Were they REALLY this likeable and loveable that everyone in the area wanted to help them and do things for them for free all the time. Were their neighbors really all that generous and selfless in wanting to help them succeed? Although they...more
Christina
Helen Hoover and her husband Adrian left successful careers in Chicago to live in the woods of northern Minnesota in the 1950's. In this book, she recounts their decision to make the move and the events of their first year. Hoover's prose is elegant and often poetic, particularly in her descriptions of the wildlife and the scenery. Her eye for the smallest detail brings this isolated area to life for the reader. It's hard to imagine life without electricity, indoor plumbing, or regular mail or p...more
Natalie
Darling, touching book about an educated couple who were quite ahead of their time (even by today's standards) who went off into the isolated big woods to live off the grid.

Firstly, no one INTENTIONALLY did that back then (1930's-40's). Also, Helen was not your ordinary housewife, but an educated engineer.

The first part of the book is so gripping, and you can't believe how everything went wrong, yet how she stood and kept her sanity.

Well, worth the read. Even by today's standards. Not dated at a...more
Tara
I'm doing that thing I do where I read two or three books at a time. Never ends well. I need discipline...

* I finished this book a week or so ago. I loved it. The author tells the the true story of her first year living off the grid with her husband in northern Minnesota, after a somewhat rash decision to quit their jobs and just do it. It was awesome. What an experience. And, that fact that this all happened in the fifties was even more amazing. I hope to live that dream someday...
Brad Erickson
Absolutely delightful; a surprise and wonderful Christmas gift from my wife. If you are interested in Minnesota northwoods living, and in particular, roughing it out there, this is a good read. Of course, I don't think anyone is living like this anymore.
Sandra
I hated for this to end...I felt I was living their lives for a while...heaven! I usually only rate it 5 stars if I will read it again...that doesn't happen very often.
Sue
A wonderful look at living in the northwoods of MN in the mid 1950's on a shoe string budget and when your background is big city Chicago. The description of the seasons, the ups and downs of learning to live in the wilds, the introspection of the author makes it a terrific read.
Joe Mossa

this is a good non fiction book. this successful couple leave good jobs in chicago to live in a cabin in the woods like thoreau. they spend much time feeding wild animals. she never talks of sex and they are in their 40 s and this disappointed me.
Jenny
Dec 04, 2009 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nature lovers
Recommended to Jenny by: no one
I found Helen Hoover's A Place in the Woods a sacred space of patience, endurance, and appreciation. I am so glad she wrote this so I could learn from her. She isn't with us but yet she helps me who is left behind.
Kelly
I found this book at a sale at the library. Its a fast read and a very nice story about living 'away from it all' and really being forced to intertwine nature/the seasons into your day-to-day life.
Joanna
What a fun read! The true adventures of a couple who leave Chicago for the quiet woods. No neighbors for miles, they must learn to rely on themselves and each other.
Richard



There IS a natural rhythm to a simplified life and there IS a wondering why regarding hyper civilized living…a pleasant, easy and rewarding read…

Karla
Learned a lot about nature and animals from this book. I wish I could read more of hers but she's no longer with us. I got lost in this book...very enjoyable
MountainShelby
I read this classic many years ago and enjoyed it. I remember a lighthearted quality that's not always evident in similar tales.
Paula
These brave souls leave Chicago to live in a secluded cabin in the north woods. It worked for them even after many challenges.
MelissaB
This book was a delight! Very enjoyable. I loaned this from a friend and will order it for myself soon.
Cathy
One of my favorite books - hilarious and excitingly fun!
Margaret
Margaret marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2014
Kevin Ash
Kevin Ash marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
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