Episode 14: The Boatbuilder


We discuss The Boatbuilder by Daniel Gumbiner. Jackie and Shelley talk about how difficult it must be to write about addiction if you have not experienced it personally, developing an appreciation for nature and being off the grid in recovery, and the many benefits of working with your hands.

About The Boatbuilder by Daniel Gumbiner

Pairs well with: Peach Shrub

What to expect: A fictional, meditative journey of a young man struggling to overcome an opioid addiction

“At 28 years old, Eli ‘Berg’ Koenigsberg has never encountered a challenge he couldn’t push through, until a head injury leaves him with lingering headaches and a weakness for opiates. Berg moves to a remote Northern California town, seeking space and time to recover, but soon finds himself breaking into homes in search of pills.

Addled by addiction and chronic pain, Berg meets Alejandro, a reclusive, master boatbuilder, and begins to see a path forward. Alejandro offers Berg honest labor, but more than this, he offers him a new approach to his suffering, a template for survival amid intense pain. Nurtured by his friendship with Alejandro and aided, too, by the comradeship of many in Talinas, Berg begins to return to himself. Written in gleaming prose, this is a story about resilience, community, and what it takes to win back your soul.”

The Boatbuilder


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