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River House by Sarahlee Lawrence

If you enjoy reading about strong self reliant people, you should read River House by Sarahlee Lawrence.  Lawrence is a white water river guide and has traveled the world and worked on some of the toughest and most remote rivers.  Like a lot of young people though, it took living elsewhere to make her pine for the area she grew up in (rural Oregon). She decides she wants to build a house on her parents’ ranch and returns home to do so.  When Lawrence sets out to build a house, she goes about it in a much harder way than most people.  She manually digs her foundation with a shovel, has logs delivered and scrapes the bark off of each one by hand.  By the end of the book her house is finished and she has literally done almost everything herself with a little help sometimes from her dad.  Speaking of her dad, he is the only annoying thing about this book.  Lawrence and her family live a hard life on the ranch with endless physical labor and extreme weather.  This was a life her dad married into when he got hitched to her mom.  Well, he constantly whines about the hard life he’s leading and all he wants to do its lay on a beach, surf and smoke dope.   I got to the point where I just wanted to scream at him “well, leave already!” and I was just reading the book, not living with him.  Finally at the end of the book he does leave and moves to a beach in Mexico.  I’m sure Lawrence and her mom (no slacker herself) are much happier working the ranch without him around.  This book is a tribute to manual labor and the satisfaction of sometimes choosing to do things a harder and slower way in this world where the fastest and easiest way seems to be valued by most.

Stacy W.

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