Pollard tells the story of Anne, a bag lady, seen in the town as one of the older ones from 'la la land'. Long ago, when she was fifteen, she ran away and made her life alone in the woods. It is her narrative that the reader hears, as Anne survives her first winter. She makes a shelter with her own hands, and decorates it; she forages for things to eat, experiences the pangs of love, watches the foxes and the deer and the changing seasons as the years go by. And in the wood there are other voices: the forest itself, the night, a man with a gun, boys splashing in pools ...and the sound of distant chain-saws, heralding footpaths under the trees and walkways in the canopy. Laura Beatty has a gift for empathy and for challenging the reader. This is writing of the highest calibre.