Every year, from the end of June to the end of August, Bruce and his family go to their cedar-clad cottage on the blue, wide lake. At first, this summer of 1954 seems like any other: floating in the row boat with Grace from next door, jumping off the diving raft, eating peach pie, exploring with Angus the dog, watching the seagulls, frogs and herons and catching crayfish. But just when he realizes life is perfect, everything starts to change. He's 10, the family dynamics are shifting, and over the summer both the harshness of the adult world and the patterns of the natural world reveal themselves. By the time the weather turns he will be a different child and will have chosen his own path to understanding the wilderness that waits behind their wooden homes. Funny, subtle and true, Barefoot at the Lake transports us to a long, hot, poignant summer.
You don't have to go to the lake. Listening to this audiobook gives the experience of spending a summer in a cottage, barefoot and falling in love with the natural world around you, where, "the cottagers challenged the world around them and they vied with each other to be the best at taming the surrounding forrest."
Bruce Fogle's memoir isn't all escapism and golden nostalgia. It's a coming of age story where he quietly, surely finds his values and vocation through a virtual apprenticeship to his uncle Reub who's knowledge of the First Nations' lore of the surrounding countryside deepens his understanding of his world.
An enjoyable listen, beautifully read by Adam Sims.
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