Once again Longhouse Publishers in Vermont has produced a book exquisite in design, fat enough to be a feast, pretty enough to just
wade around in, and deep enough to dive into and stay with for days and weeks and even months on end. Could be it's the first of its kind, a
scrapbook novel that is also a how-to and a mystery -- how did he do it,
and how does he make rocks balance like Thor?
Author Bob Arnold is a poet, well-known for well-crafted verses of the back country. But Bob Arnold the builder, the stone mason, the rock wall maker is for those of us lucky enough to have gone walking on his grounds or dining in house with his lovely wife, Susan.
I've known these guys a very long time, but frankly it takes a long time to know people who have the woods in them. They are like trees you love to look at, and you can give them a good hug, but that doesn't mean you know them. It takes years to do that and even then there's more mystery below the bark.
Well, there are years upon years in this shining, stunning photographic book of buildings, walls, stones, woods, flowers, lakes and of course trees. It's a book of family built with love, and like each rock, hand-held and sort of loved into place, it's a book that couldn't have come in a night or a day. It's taken Bob Arnold a lifetime to write it as his life was written around him in loving circles of tribute to his wife and son.
The beauty of this book is that it is truly a scrapbook novel, as solidly true as stone and bark. And it's not about one house, it's about many, and all made by the same man,woman, and son. If you want a life you have to make one. This is the story of a family who did just that.