What is a summary of A Place in the Woods by Helen Hoover?

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tamarakh's profile pic

Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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A Place in the Woods is Helen Hoover's memoir of purchasing a log cabin in the woods surrounding Lake Superior in order to escape the madness of the civilized world.

The moment she and her husband Adrian purchase their log cabin, they leave Chicago to go on vacation, but the cabin is sadly hit and damaged by an early ferocious blizzard. Helen next takes a two-month leave from her job in order to spend time rebuilding their cabin, and the couple hires a local to help. They also buy a second cabin to live in while rebuilding the first. During their time there, they both decide they prefer being in the woods and quit their jobs in Chicago to live in the woods permanently.

But the move to the woods is by no means a smooth process.  Money becomes an issue when moving expenses turn out to be higher than they had planned. A car accident in which their car is totaled brings further problems; however, they are well stocked with the firewood and groceries needed for the winter.

Winter brings a great deal of snow, but the Hoovers pass their time caring for the wildlife, taming a weasel, and earning income through mail-order woodworking. When spring comes, they also begin earning money by nurturing chickens, selling hand-decorated stationary, and selling stories to magazines. When Adrian tries to install electricity in the cabin, an electric fire is started in the ice house. The Hoovers are able to save the cabin using a fire extinguisher but lose their electric generator. But they learn a valuable lesson from the experience--they are both fully ready to let go of the electric technology of the modern world and embrace the freedom they feel they have gained in the woods.

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shmindle's profile pic

shmindle | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

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"A Place in the Woods" is a book by Helen Hoover. Helen Hoover and her husband, Adrian Hoover, give up their urban lifestyle in Chicago to live in the wilderness. They reside in a log house in rural Minnesota. The book describes their experiences and struggles in the wilderness, and how they adapted to their new lifestyle. The couple makes it through a harsh winter. Although there is no electricity, they manage to entertain themselves by interacting with animals. They make money by raising chickens and selling stationary. Also, Helen soon becomes a published author. These anecdotes in the book show the joys and realities of their simple lifestyle.

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