It reminded me of another Idaho woman's story, Educated by Tara Westover. Both books feature horribly flawed authoritarian parents who Coming of age gut-wrenching memoir set in the beautiful state of Idaho. Both books feature horribly flawed authoritarian parents who believe they are right with God at the expense of their own children. Feb 10, Catherine Marenghi rated it it was amazing. Reading Kim Barnes's haunting and beautifully written memoir, I had the sensation that I had experienced her life, or would have, if my parents had chosen Idaho instead of a rural patch of Massachusetts to live their isolated, hardscrabble lives.
Coming of Age in Unknown Country
Barnes has the gift of relating a singular, unique experience, and making her readers feel that experience as their own. Her themes: Family, loss, rites of passage, and the yearning for home and country. Highly recommended. Dec 18, Elaine Mansfield rated it it was amazing. This book about a young woman brought up in a Fundamentalist Christian community and family is extremely relevant for our times. Beautiful and poetic language. Surprising twists and turns that kept me fascinated with the story. Jul 31, Chris rated it it was amazing. I loved this book. It was so beautifully written and the characters are completely believable.
I learned a lot about growing up in the woods of Idaho and living, basically, off grid. Mar 20, Ben rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , memoir. Jan 30, Mac Ford rated it liked it Shelves: memoir. My writing professor read the baptism scene aloud to us in college and I never forgot it. A fascinating book with some really beautiful, harsh truths about religion. Jan 06, Jessie Twigg-Harris rated it really liked it. Fascinating psychological-emotional memoir set against deep physical landscape. May 08, Heather rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Those interested in stories of fundamentalist religion.
Recommended to Heather by: Hilary Grabner. When I first read this I was a religious college student living in the beautiful landscape described in the book. It haunted me. I couldn't describe why. But I valued Kim's life experience and the book became one of the many I own that I checked for and carefully packed every time I moved.
One that I would never loan. Recently a coworker told me that she had left her Pentecostal home at age 16, no It's an interesting experience to re-read a book like this after a major change in worldview.
Recently a coworker told me that she had left her Pentecostal home at age 16, no longer able to live under the oppressive fundamentalism foisted upon her by her pastor father. Her story reminded me of this book and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I decided to read it again. This time 'round I appreciated the beautiful writing - something I didn't "know" how to do when I was younger. I also saw Kim in a new light and I understood how she felt suffocated within a fundamentalist society.
I identified with her in places. I was also able to see the abuse she suffered in a culture that demonizes female sexuality and lays the blame of male lust at the feet of women. But mostly, the portrayal of the father-daughter relationship stung. I still love the book. I'm glad I re-read it It struck a chord with me for other reasons I can't articulate. Good book. I'm not so much a fan of "Hungry for the World". The sequel. Mar 20, Efox rated it really liked it. I first read In the Wilderness when I was in high school.
I remember being thrilled to be reading a book that was a coming of age story about a girl who grew up in Idaho - just like me! And I was profoundly inspired and for a brief time decided I would be a writer too. That didn't exactly last, but as I re-read Barne's intoxicatingly beautiful prose, a lot of memories flooded back to me. The story about growing up in a logging family that turned to fundamentalism and eventually was wretched away I first read In the Wilderness when I was in high school.
The story about growing up in a logging family that turned to fundamentalism and eventually was wretched away from the woods to live in town all came back to me. Reading it now was a completely different experience. For one, instead of going through coming of age, I have moved on to the position that Barnes is in as she grapples with her coming of age - able to look back and reflect on the decisions of my teenage self and how those shaped me into the woman I've become.
In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country - PDF Free Download
But I also felt the same angst that I felt when I first read this book. Those nervous, inadequate feelings that I felt so often in my teenage years, all came back as I re-read passages associated with that time in my life. One of the most profound parts for me, is when Barnes struggles to reconcile the blissfully happy 12 year old she was - a devout, loving, devoted daughter - with the girl she was at 14 - an angry, defiant, teenager- and how even now she still feels both of those selves inside, and yet can't understand how she could have ever been either of those girls.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good memoir. Jul 07, Sarah Wells rated it it was amazing. The first of Barnes's memoirs, "In the Wilderness" captured the coming-of-age of a young lady in a fundamentalist Pentacostal home - the obedience of youth, the rebellion of early teen years, and the acquiescence of a young adult. It was odd reading these two memoirs in reverse order, knowing what was coming for this young naive girl.
I appreciate Kim's thorough attention to detail, descriptive, vivid language, and careful, respectful handling of family and church. Barnes's non-judgmental honest The first of Barnes's memoirs, "In the Wilderness" captured the coming-of-age of a young lady in a fundamentalist Pentacostal home - the obedience of youth, the rebellion of early teen years, and the acquiescence of a young adult.
Barnes's non-judgmental honesty is refreshing. Unlike "Hungry for the World," which was much more intense and mature in content, "In the Wilderness" illustrates the innocent world of a child affected by her surroundings, with little control over the cause and effects of fundamentalism and family decisions. A wonderful example of both nurture and nature, Kim tackles her relationship with her dad, her friends, her mom, and her church. Excellent read. Oct 24, Charles rated it really liked it. I felt very close to this book. First, it is beautifully written. The events in the forest of Idaho while more intense than mine in camps and on hunting trips as a kid in California.
Second, somehow, I don't remember how, we ended up in very fundamentalist churches in Las Vegas. Vegas was a very Mormon and fundamentalist town once.
Maybe we ended up in those churches because they were the closest to the house. We went to church all day Sundays and three nights a week or more. Nothing was permitt I felt very close to this book. Nothing was permitted. Everything was sin. Then my family exploded. I must say even though I have hard feeling about the mindless discipline, the church members stood up and took in my high school age brother who maybe suffered the most from our family's collective crises.
This book made eminent sense to me and was a great read though at times extremely uncomfortably close to my life. May 31, Nancy added it. A good read, Polly. The opening portion of this book confused me with the generational jumble of characters, but the writing got better and better.
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The fundamentalist religion theme was only minimally interesting, but it stimulated great conversation in our group meeting. My favorite part was the reference to the land and how the main character's personality was somehow reflected in the earth experiences which influenced her. The sensory sensitivity of the author to h book group, Polly's choice. The sensory sensitivity of the author to her natural environment is apparent in her writing.
The ending was well crafted. I believe the last two chapters could stand alone in essay fashion. Nice work Ms. Barnes, it is difficult to write a good ending Nov 16, Diane rated it liked it Shelves: memoir-bio-autobio , pacific-nw , religion. I picked this up at a used bookstore because it was about growing up near Lewiston, Idaho, and I lived in Idaho not far from Lewiston for several years. Barnes tells a nice story of growing up in poor rural conditions and particularly does a nice job of describing life in a fundamentalist Christian family.
In presenting Kim Barnes the PENJerard Fund Award for a work-in-progress by an emerging female writer, the panel of judges wrote that " In the Wilderness is far more than a personal memoir," adding that it stands "almost as a cautionary example of the power of good prose to distinguish whatever it touches. She teaches writing at the University of Idaho and lives with her husband, the poet Robert Wrigley, on Moscow Mountain. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books.
Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Poet Kim Barnes grew up in northern Idaho, in the isolated camps where her father worked as a logger and her mother made a modest but comfortable home for her husband and two children. Product Details About the Author.
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Poet Kim Barnes grew up in northern Idaho, in the isolated camps where her father worked as a logger and her mother made a modest but comfortable home for her husband and two children. Their lives were short on material wealth, but long on the riches of family and friendship, and the great sheltering power of the wilderness. But in the mid's, as automation and a declining economy drove more and more loggers out of the wilderness and into despair, Kim's father dug in and determined to stay. It was then the family turned fervently toward Pentecostalism.
It was then things changed. In the Wilderness is the poet's own account of a journey toward adulthood against an interior landscape every bit as awesome, as beautiful, and as fraught with hidden peril as the great forest itself. It is a story of how both faith and geography can shape the heart and soul, and of the uncharted territory we all must enter to face our demons. Above all, it is the clear-eyed and moving account of a young woman's coming of terms with her family, her homeland, her spirituality, and herself. In presenting Kim Barnes the PENJerard Fund Award for a work-in-progress by an emerging female writer, the panel of judges wrote that " In the Wilderness is far more than a personal memoir," adding that it stands "almost as a cautionary example of the power of good prose to distinguish whatever it touches.