December 2013All those interested in sustainable agriculture, living off-the-grid, dwelling in yurts, organic farming, backyard foraging, beekeeping, cheesemaking, etc., will love this inspiring memoir. It's also a great gift for rural-wannabes, as it's filled with the details and dialogues of McMinn's challenging pursuit of a natural lifestyle. -- Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI
"It was a cold late autumn day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse--as was the insulation. The floors weren't even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, 'You've brought us to this slanted little house to die.'"
Thus begins former romance writer Suzanne McMinn's wild ride into self-sustainable living halfway up a hill on one of the most remote dirt roads in West Virginia, with a cast including her children, an enigmatic partner, the "rural neighborhood" of quirky characters, and a whole slew of ridiculous and uncooperative farm animals. An unlikely adventurer, the suburban-born-and-bred author tackles one daunting challenge after another on her new forty-acre farm, from hatching chickens and milking a cow to herding sheep and making her own cheese. Whether she's trying to convince a goat to accept its baby or just get her ornery neighbor to move over and let her pass on the road, every page of her adventure is fraught with laughter, passion, drama, and the risk of losing it all before she figures out why she's doing it in the first place. And when she does lose it all, she discovers a triumph she never expected--along with the truth for which she'd been searching all along.