Addie's Reviews > Into the Forest

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
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's review
Jul 12, 09

Recommended to Addie by: Aerin
Read in July, 2009, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** After a string of lighter reads, I felt ready and relieved to tackle something with more substance, more darkness, and so I picked up Into the Forest from the library having little to no idea what I was about to get myself into.

One of the things I liked most about this book was that you know no more about what is going on in the world outside the forest than Nell and Eva do. There is no omniscient being to fill you in, and even the information they receive from outside sources is conflicting. You're stuck with only the knowledge they have, and you are scraping for survival information right along with them. Reading numerous favorable reviews I see that many people didn't like the way this story wrapped up, but I had no problem with it. The ending is neither happy nor sad. It's just an ending, as impartial as the forest they inhabit.

Jean Hegland's prose is unforgettable. This book had me questioning and criticizing my reliance on everyday items like gasoline, electricity, the Internet, and air conditioning. I cringed at just how dependent we all are on today's technology. I felt ashamed of my consumer habits and wasteful, gluttonous nature. Before reading this book I considered myself only moderately materialistic, but during my reading I had the frightening realization that I am just as spoiled as the next human. Therefore this book was a wake-up call, a slap across my content face, and it scared me. If this were to happen, I am sure that I would not survive.

It is so relevant to the world today that I thought it must have been written within the last few years, but come to find out that it was published in 1997! The concept of the Fugue State, the explanation of it, it really affected me. It scared me to realize that maybe this current economic "fugue state" isn't a fugue state at all... maybe it is permanent. I shudder to think it true.

The only part of this book that I do not understand is the incest. It didn't disgust me as it does so many readers, but I found it to be completely unnecessary to the story. If anyone has any insight into this, I would love to hear it. Really.

I feel certain that this book is going to instill in me a fierce lifestyle change. I may not grow my own vegetables or stop eating all processed foods, or decrease my carbon footprint, but I feel that my wasteful nature will surely diminish. And even if it only decreases by a fraction, the fact that this book has at all changed my habits is a testament to the quality and insight of its' content.

Jean Hegland, it was a pleasure.
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Reading Progress

06/29/2009 page 29
07/12/2009 page 241
100.0% "Wow."
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