I have no idea what I expected when I read the cover of Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm but it sounded intriguing. I ordered it from the library and then forgot about it.
Total side note: I don't know how it works for you but I swear there are a handful of people out there who read exactly the same books as me. They take out a bunch from the library and return them all at once. I, in turn, then get them all at once. I can go a week or two with no new books, then BAM! Ten books show up at the library in 24 hours. Crazy but true.
The new books to arrive for me were Bootstrapper, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus, and The Soil Will Save Us. Now I had been waiting for The Soil Will Save Us and fully expected to start reading it once the kids went to bed. I was having a quiet evening and thought, well I should check out Bootstrapper in case I don't want it; I am going right by the library tomorrow.
So, I settled in the comfy purple chair to get the wood stove cranking before turning in. It was a blustery night with lightning crashing all around (I swear I couldn't make this stuff up! It was awesome.) and the rain coming down hard. The dog was curled up at my feet looking apprehensively out the window with every clap of thunder.
I opened the book and began reading. The first few pages didn't really hook me as I am not a huge drinker but since it was the prologue and I didn't feel like getting up, I started to read the first chapter. I continued to stoke the fire but didn't really surface until I closed the book having finished the last page. For me it was a one sitting book, something that never happens any more. It was well into the next day and there wasn't any one thing that made me keep turning the pages but I did. Again and again. I was smiling at the end.
The description lead me to believe it was more of a I got divorced and then I bought a farm and had to make it work because I spent all my money, you know, a little Under the Tuscan Sun, a little The Feast Nearby, a little The Dirty Life. (You can check out the review here, it was truly fantastic. So fantastic that I might read it again this spring.) It was a little of those but then it wasn't. It was a story all its own.
The author is struggling to make the finances work out on her little farm. They are barely scrapping by by eating cheaply and keeping the furnace off, even as ice kisses the window panes. There is also laughter, love, teamwork and happiness. It is a story of her journey but also of how her family grows together.
Some might wonder whether they could relate to her: she is a decade older than I am, her kids are in different stages, she is going through a divorce, she reads and quotes meditation books to herself as inspiration, and few of us have seen their minivan on fire but there is a little something gets into you. One part wanting to see what happens next. One part reminding you of a dream you might have but haven't gone for it. As the chapters move in a snapshot style of each month, we dance through the seasons quickly, light on boring everyday details, heavy on moments.
If you are looking for a light read containing moments of inspiration (chickens!) that will also make you laugh, pick up a copy and let me know what you think.