The Nature Notebooks: A Novel

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UPNE, 2004 - Fiction - 225 pages
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Three Vermont women enroll in a nature writing class, only to find themselves drawn into a plot to commit an act of destruction in the name of the environment.
Though Lauren Blackwood, Marianna Finch, and Rachel Katz each claim an interest in "nature," the notebooks they keep for their class reveal their very different attitudes about the natural world. For Lauren, a farmer and breeder of llamas, nature is a powerful if unpredictable partner; for Marianna, a real estate agent, it is an aesthetic experience; and for Rachel, an extreme sports enthusiast, it is a cause and a commitment.

In a narrative tour de force, the story unfolds in the form of entries from these nature notebooks. In separate accounts, each woman describes the events leading up to an act of sabotage on Mount Mansfield. Each version reveals new perspectives, new layers of deception, and new insights into the mysterious, charismatic Kyle Hess, a well-known nature writer and activist from California whose role in this act of eco-terrorism is gradually revealed.
  

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About the author (2004)

DON MITCHELL teaches creative writing at Middlebury College. He is the author of three previous novels (Thumb Tripping, for which he also wrote the screenplay; Four-Stroke; and The Souls of Lambs: A Fable); three collections of essays (Moving Upcountry, Living Upcountry, and Growing Upcountry); and of the Compass American Guide to Vermont. He lives on a sheep farm with his former hitchhiking companion and wife of thirty-four years.

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