The Net Beneath Us: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The Net Beneath Us: A Novel By Carol Dunbar Cover Image

The Net Beneath Us: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Staff Reviews

Elsa goes from a life of privilege to a life off the grid learning to cope with all the challenges. It’s a story of love, loss, grief, friendship, family and resilience. Dunbar draws from her own life experience in this beautifully written debut novel.

— Elyse


In her debut novel, Carol Dunbar draws from her own lived experiences, vividly describing the wonder and harshness of life off the grid. Told over the course of a year, The Net Beneath Us is a lyrical exploration of loss, marriage, parenthood, and self-reliance; a tale of how the natural world—without and within us—offers us healing, if we can learn where to look.

“Dunbar delivers both a tumble through the shifting light of grief, and a forgiving forest floor on which to land.”
—Leif Enger, New York Times bestselling author of Peace Like a River and Virgil Wander

He promised her he would never let go. She’s willing to risk everything to hold on.

In the aftermath of her husband’s logging accident, Elsa has more questions than answers about how to carry on while caring for their two small children in the unfinished house he was building for them in the woods of rural Wisconsin. To cope with the challenges of winter and the near-daily miscommunications from her in-laws, she forges her own relationship with the land, learning from and taking comfort in the trees her husband had so loved. If she wants to stay in their home, she must discover her own capabilities, and accept help from the people and places she least expects.

CAROL DUNBAR is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, The Net Beneath Us—winner of the Wisconsin Writers: Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award, and A Winter's Rime. She is a former actor, playwright, and coloratura soprano who left her life in the city to move off the grid. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The South Carolina Review, Midwestern Gothic, and on Wisconsin Public Radio. She writes from a solar-powered office on the second floor of a water tower in northern Wisconsin, where she lives in a house in the woods with her husband, two kids, and a Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250826855
ISBN-10: 1250826853
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English

“Dunbar delivers both a tumble through the shifting light of grief, and a forgiving forest floor on which to land.”
—Leif Enger, New York Times bestselling author of Peace Like a River and Virgil Wander

“There are novels that we enjoy, but the most memorable ones, and The Net Beneath Us is one of these, leave readers with a sense that our lives have been enriched. An astonishing debut.”
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Above the Waterfall

“Containing wisdom as deeply rooted as a Wisconsin forest, The Net Beneath Us is an evocative and beautifully written meditation on grief and the lasting power of friendship. A story that reminds us that in difficult times, showing vulnerability can be the ultimate act of strength.”
—Lucy Tan, author of What We Were promised

“With gorgeous, evocative prose, The Net Beneath Us welcomes readers into a bucolic, off-grid life that has been turned upside down for a young family. Highly recommended!”
—Deb Rogers, author of Florida Woman

“As a bookseller, I'm thrilled to have a book that so clearly and fairly represents the region in which I live. I would shelve it next to another favorite of mine: Shotgun Lovesongs and next to another female-driven novel with place at the center—Where the Crawdads Sings. I predict The Net Beneath Us will find a huge following and become a book group favorite.”
—Julie Buckles, author of Paddling to Winter

“Drawing from her own experience living off the grid in northern Wisconsin, Dunbar's debut novel encapsulates what it means to come home to oneself.”

“Thanks to the author's fiery writing, this is a book rich in layered emotions. It speaks of trees and the land, inspired partly by the author's experiences living off the grid.”
Twin Cities Pioneer Press

“This beautifully told lyrical novel, with metaphors of the natural world that will take your breath away, is the story of grief and commitment, belonging and isolation, told within the year-long events of living in our region’s beloved North Woods.”
Lake Superior Magazine