For readers of The Stranger in the Woods and H Is for Hawk, a beautifully written and emotionally rewarding memoir about a father, his three sons, and a scrappy 100-acre piece of land in rural Michigan.
Some families have to dig hard to find the love that holds them together. Some have to grow it out of the ground.
Bruce Kuipers was good at hunting, fishing, and working, but not at much else that makes a real father or husband. Conflicted, angry, and a serial cheater, he destroyed his relationship with his wife, Nancy, and alienated his three sons-journalist Dean, woodsman Brett, and troubled yet brilliant fisherman Joe. He distrusted people and clung to rural America as a place to hide.
So when Bruce purchased a 100-acre hunting property as a way to reconnect with his sons, they resisted. The land was the perfect bait, but none of them knew how to be together as a family. Conflicts arose over whether the land-an old farm that had been degraded and reduced to a few stands of pine and blowing sand-should be left alone or be actively restored. After a decade-long impasse, Bruce acquiesced, and his sons proceeded with their restoration plan. What happened next was a miracle of nature.
Dean Kuipers weaves a beautiful and surprising story about the restorative power of land and of his own family, which so desperately needed healing. Heartwarming and profound, The Deer Camp is the perfect story of fathers, sons, and the beauty and magic of the natural world.
Dean Kuipers has studied and written about the field of environmental politics and the human-nature relationship for decades. He is the author of Burning Rainbow Farm and Operation Bite Back. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Outside, The Atlantic, Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He lives in Los Angeles.