In Union Lake, Carla Porch explores the enduring notions of home, individuation, and belonging by bringing together seemingly disparate themes: American Indians, samba, Henry Miller, generational interplay, and the decline and rebirth of the natural world.
This lyrical memoir offers a moving glimpse into a coming-of-age journey from a little girl who experiences a seemingly idyllic childhood in southern New Jersey to a mature, urbanized woman in New York City who eventually learns to embrace the joy, sorrow, chaos, and simplicity that have highlighted her growing awareness as a child and daughter, and later on in her developing roles as mother, wife, and artist.
"Barefoot, I cross through the grove, wearing only a bikini and a beach towel around my neck. I go in waist deep and splash my arms to get used to the cold water. … After doing laps without counting, I turn my direction ninety degrees and flip over on my back for the dead man’s float. My arms move ever so gently, propelling forward and paralleling the manmade beach of misplaced, foreign white sand. When I reach my destination, my arms stop. Each one stretches to its farthest point, keeping me afloat over to where Mrs. Fitch’s boathouse had once been."
—from “Indian Summer”