Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor by Suzanne McMinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
McMinn's memoir is one of those "how I found myself" books, filled with interesting ways to declutter and simplify (if you're willing to buy a farm and grow your own, among other things). She brings her three children to West Virginia, to her ancestral lands, after her divorce and first in the Slanted Little House and then at Stillwater Rising Farm she connects with an earlier way of life. And by earlier, she means "nearly pioneer" - the farm is not on a paved road (you either ford a river or cross three creeks to get there), the electricity goes out for a week over Christmas, etc.. There's also a relationship with "52", a distant relative and for some time the man in her life, to deal with.
All too often things were reexplained, often with the same language. That always bothers me, as though no one went through the book as a book and suggested that perhaps things could be tightened up. Her relationship with 52 was also a little problematic, to say the least. And while I know this was her story, her dream, more of her children's reactions would have been nice: it's implied that they don't do any farm chores, and their activities are occasionally mentioned, but more would have been nice.
One of the things I hate about eARCs popped up: there are some great recipes and craft ideas at the end and keeping them is impossible! You can't print or copy them from a Kindle, and I hate trying to cook with the Kindle nearby. Sigh.
ARC provided by publisher.
2 hours ago