Why did I love this book?
The Outermost House was one of Rachel Carson’s favorite books about the sea, and it is little wonder why. Beston’s best-known work was inspired by a year he spent on a duney Cape Cod headland with the seasonal elements and the indigenous creatures of land, sea, and air. He had originally intended to stay a fortnight before the “beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held” him. Having had his spirit shaken on the frontlines during the First World War, he was the better for the longer stay. So are we. The Outermost House is a quietly alluring, elegiac meditation on a place where nature seemed to pursue its rituals as if impingements of modern civilization were nonexistent. Although written nearly a century ago, Beston’s work possesses a timelessness in its central assertion that humanity impoverishes itself when it fails to appreciate the “divine mystery” of nature.