Above the Fall Line: The Trail from White Pine Cabin
Amy Blackmarr returns to her native Georgia as a refugee, fleeing a bleak Kansas winter, the trauma of graduate school, and a loss of identity, confidence, boyfriend and best dog and pride. Now White Pine Cabin, a hut barely big enough to turn around in, becomes the setting for Blackmarr's searing self-examination as she tells the stories that have led her so far inward and works out a trail back toward a happier connection with herself, the land, her God, and the people in her world. With an irony that keeps her prose from sinking into sentiment, Blackmarr writes of her dishonesty in a lost relationship, flunking her graduate exams, the inborn racism she was surprised to discover, and the loss of her beloved god Max. But her enduring love for the land brings needed beauty and balance, and her sense of humor won't let us get away without hearing about the ghost by the creek, the beat that comes for her pork roast, the mice that eat a rat snake, and the landfill that swallows her car. Finally, when Blackmarr allows herself to move outside her solitude she always discovers the world's unexpected generosity, and it is this gift that helps heal her and make her aware of the art we create in the interwoven kindnesses we pay each other.