Monday, April 29, 2013

The Dirty Life : Book Group Book Review

In keeping with the book's ethos, why not
get it at Indiebound or your local bookseller?
Do you harbor a secret desire to live and love out in the country, to grow the food you eat, to simplify your life, or to draw closer to the cycles of the natural world?

The women in our book club clearly do.  Which is one reason we all enjoyed The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and that our conversation at dusk on D's back porch grew so warmly animated and earnest, punctuated by broad smiles and quite a few guffaws. 

This memoir of how Ms. Kimball's love affair with an organic farmer named Mark drew her quickly into his lifelong plan to run the "full diet, free choice" CSA Essex Farm in upstate New York proved to be a quick read with just the right amount of fascinating detail to keep the narrative in focus and their lifestyle dimensional without veering off into how-to manual minutiae.  For these traits, we all applauded the book.  Driving huge plough horses, learning to craft all manner of dairy delights after milking Delia the Jersey cow, harvesting heritage piggies and potatoes, wrangling a herd of runaway Highland cattle:  What's not to enjoy about vicariously experiencing the joys and challenges of the novice full-time farmer? 

And what did we conclude, after hours of great potluck food and relaxed, thoughtful conversation while watching the sun descend?  No way could we live the farming life.  But thanks to Ms. Kimball's sure-handed prose, it sure was fun to visit.

For book groups:  Recommended.


p.s.  Kimball hosts her own nifty website and blog with plenty of photos to give the book's various and many beings visual life.

Looks like Kristin and Mark and a Jersey cow to me.

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