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Losing the Garden

The Story of a Marriage

List Price: $16.00

April 18, 2006 | Paperback |  6 x 9, 288 Pages | ISBN 9781593761042
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"A compelling memoir demands a precarious dance between the universal and the unusual... The result is a very slow waltz during which the dancers hardly touch." —Boston Globe (Editor's Pick)

In 1971, Laura and Guy Waterman decided to give up all the conveniences of life and live self-sufficiently, for the land, in a cabin in the mountains of Vermont. For nearly three decades they created a deliberate life, eating food they grew themselves and using no running water or electricity.

Losing The Garden is an honest account of their marriage, seen as idyllic but riddled from within, as well as the event that would end it-the day Guy climbed a summit and sat down among the rocks to die. This is the memoir of a woman who was compelled to ask herself “How could I support my husband’s plan to commit suicide?” In her intimate examination, we explore their intricate and dark family histories and reach a deep understanding of the marriage that tried to transcend them. At its heart, this is a love story and an affirmation of life after loss.

About Laura Waterman

LAURA WATERMAN co-authored many books with her husband Guy Waterman, including Backwoods Ethics, Wilderness Ethics, and Forest and Crag. She has published her work in many literary magazines and journals including Appalachia and Vermont magazines.


“A compelling memoir demands a precarious dance between the universal and the unusual… The result is a very slow waltz during which the dancers hardly touch.” —Boston Globe (Editor’s Pick)

“This is a survivor’s tale of an unusual life and a loving marriage. Waterman’s well-written and heartfelt book will resonate with anyone whose life has been touched by the suicide of a loved one. Recommended for all public libraries.” —Library Journal

“Her writing style is clear and precise. While the story she tells is dear to her heart and her grief is palpable, she never succumbs to sentimentality or pathos. Her largeness of spirit is apparent throughout the memoir and remains intact at the end.” —Foreword

“It is Waterman’s bravery… that gives this book its quiet power and sets it apart from others by climbers and farmers… Her success in telling this delicate, difficult story makes me want to read more.” —Valley News

“Part complicated love story… and part chronicle of a homesteading life. It’s also the story of a woman emerging from years in the shadow cast by despair, and it’s told in a way that’s honest, straightforward and lyrical.” —Monadnock Ledger

“Yet Laura Waterman doesn’t justify her husband’s suicide, nor does she attempt to gloss over her own complicity. She merely tells the tale, and her remarkable combination of clarity, optimism and detail paints a fascinating portrait of a tragic figure and a special place.” —The Times Union

“A book that people will read for many years to come. It’s not just that Guy Waterman was a fascinating figure, or that he and his wife were among the most interesting homesteaders of our time… You don’t need to care a fig for mountains or New England woods to be utterly caught up in this quiet, stunning saga.” —Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home

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