Built Around the Fire delves into notions of place, the enveloping wonder and plight of our environment, and the complexities of rural culture: an examination of hierarchies, conservatism, generational religion, and the perpetuation of patriarchal norms. Such concepts are juxtaposed with a personal narrative: the rise and failure of a relationship, the deafening silence that arrives within any new vacancy, and the eventual need to learn to adapt in order to grow. These two themes—the notion of a midwestern place and its ideologies, and the notion of a failed relationship— work in tandem to speak for a shared struggle. The small family farm is dying out and the personal relationship dies right alongside it. What remains is a chance at rebirth, change, a looking outward, finally, as much as a looking inward. Though there is brokenness, and pain, there is also hope.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press