Review: neither Mountain nor River by Mike Freeman

Reluctantly, I’ve settled into winter activities like reading and knitting. The stack of books I’ll read over the winter is tall but it looks like there’s going to be plenty of time to read. I’ll share my reviews for outdoors related books here. Let’s start with this one.

neither Mountain nor River

By Mike Freeman
Fathers, Sons, and an Unsettled Faith

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Riddle Brook Publishing (September 30, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0984792783

neither Mountain nor River, Mike FreemanMike Freeman’s passion for the outdoors is clear in his memoir, neither Mountain nor River. It’s always been and will always be a part of his life regardless of where he lives. In Mike’s move from Alaska to New York City, then from NYC to Rhode Island with wife Karen, he is never disconnected from natural history. He shares the outdoors experience as only someone with experience and a great love can.

Freeman blends vast life experiences – family, love, difficulty, success, challenge, relationship highs and lows, roll reversal and more with the natural world. He sets the scene well, giving the reader a good base to spark their own mental image as he tells the story. I was able to feel as tough I was there for a portion of the experience. Words flow smoothly and trigger memories and emotions you might have forgotten.

Shannon, Mike and Karen’s first born, has Autism. Her connection to and interaction with nature is touching. They allow her to explore, interact, handle and fully experience her natural surroundings right down to eye-poking and up-close investigation of a dead gannet in ways most parents wouldn’t imagine.

While this memoir is deeply rooted in the outdoors you needn’t be an outdoor lover to appreciate the story and connections between people. Freeman writes about spirituality in a way most readers will understand. He has questions. God? Hell? What happens after death? His quest isn’t overwhelming. Surely he’s searching for the same answers as most of us. Even the most faithful sometimes wonder.

Read this book. Give it as a Christmas gift. And then read it again. It’s worth it.


Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.