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The Net Beneath Us

A Novel

Carol Dunbar

Forge Books

The Net Beneath Us Download image

ISBN10: 1250826853
ISBN13: 9781250826855


320 Pages



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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.


Praise for The Net Beneath Us

“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

“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.”Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


Elsa Arnasson was making dirt. Wearing their son in a backpack carrier, with her long Nordic hair caught up loose and haphazard at her neck, she carried the empty compost container and walked up the hill away from the garden, crossing...

About the author

Carol Dunbar

CAROL DUNBAR 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 giant Alaskan malamute. The Net Beneath Us is her first novel.

Carol Dunbar

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