Date of submission
A report to Matt Bell’s In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
Matt Bell’s novel, In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is a very remarkable book. The book talks about love, marriage, and the challenges that come along when two people choose to stay together. The main characters in this book, the unnamed husband and his wife set out to start their marriage life far away from their home. As a result of this, the married couple departs to the wilderness, an untamed wilderness, where soon after they discover that it is not easy living there.
In deed, as Edna St. Vincent the poet writes “Love is not all,” this is true. There is more to love than what meets the eye and Matt Bell clearly shows this. As the couple starts their lives in the wilderness, the husband soon takes up his roles as the provider of the house while the wife tends to her husband. This is evident in the roles that the husband does, building a house as well as gathering food. As much as marriage is meant for companionship, recreation is also a very central part of it and this couple soon longs for children. Several times before their first born, the couple faces challenges resulting from crushed fetuses which drive the husband mad to the extent of eating one of them. With the boy at hand, the jealousy in the husband causes the wife to withdraw with the son from him and find a place where they will be safe. He is left alone in their house recalling what his father taught him about marriage life.
The journey through this book was interesting as well as breathtaking. It takes the reader through a series of events that the author narrates in a way done by no other. The author in his uniqueness brings out a special way of expressing emotion of his characters. This is made possible by the way he brings fiction into his work, making it alive in the narration that surpasses all other fairy tale stories that are common with many fiction writers. The writing styles of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino are at some point evident in this book but Matt Bell has set out to bring an all unique trend in this work that has no forerun. His is purely different and no other author can claim precedence in this work.
In this work, Matt Bell narrates a story that is founded on love. Upon his narration, he takes the reader through a journey that is full expectations that are not met on the onset. With these disappointments, the husband and the wife open up to the reality that life is not easy and to make everything work, far away from the crowds, the parents and every one they knew, there have to be some challenges they must meet as a couple and overcome them if they are to achieve all they wished for in a marriage life.
Through the journey with Matt Bell, I have learnt that uniqueness is a must for any writer to make it in the writing industry. A writer has to dig deeper through his literature to define a solid stand that can only be familiarized with him. Having created this bench mark for oneself, it then becomes easy to work your way that will always leave readers begging for more, this kind writing creates an unquenchable thirst with every work the writer comes up with. As a fiction writer and a poet, Matt has done all this and his readers are always in need to know more from his upcoming book. This has enabled Matt to outsmart many of his fellow writers and is evidenced in the manner with which he has penned this book.
The style of writing found in this book is strikingly surprising. The author uses words that make the reader be part of the event that is going on. “I froze, afraid the bear would charge, and in my fear I for a breath forgot my wife; and in the next breath I remembered, flushed with the shame of that forgetting.” Any reader that goes through these words becomes thrilled and feels the nerve wrecking experience that the writer intentionally created to make the reader be part of the book, more or less like a 3-D experience. Though I have had several icons to look up to when it comes to writing, Matt Bell’s writing is awesome and none of it can relate to my writing. It is unique and very captivating, a writing style that can only be associated with Matt Bell.