Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hit By A Farm by Catherine Friend

Many of you know that I can be rather broody at times. Ever the internalist, one day I was arguing with myself as to whether I really was answering my calling.... Anyway, I happened to be in a thrift store (my version of retail therapy) and ran across this book. It had never been read. I remember thinking that I would probably never get time to read it either (remember, broody mood), but with a title like that (and for only $0.49) I thought "What the hay, maybe someday".
Then we got all this rain........ I spent a lot of it being productive, but then decided God was giving me a vacation. So, I picked up the last book I had bought. "....a thoroughly engaging romp for all." That was the first review I read about this book before I started it. Hhhmmm, what an interesting thing to say. I wondered if it was really a compliment. I still don't know, but it was definitely accurate.

This book had me laughing out loud, then smiling sheepishly, then giggling like a little girl, then sobbing with compassion and empathy, then back to laughing out loud, rolling my eyes, etc., etc. What a great read!! This book WAS definitely engaging from the first page to the last page.... I even read the acknowledgements.

Catherine Friend is a children's book writer by trade. Her style of writing spoke to me. Does that make me a child???? Well, anyway.... Catherine and her long-time partner decide to buy some land and start a farm. Not just any farm, a sheep farm. Whew....enough said! I have never raised sheep, but have heard the stories..... Thanks to this book, I can now say that I don't raise sheep because of my 'educated opinion'. Ha!!

The book is written in short chapter style. Each chapter is a "story" about an event on their farm. Catherine writes of the first 4 years on this farm and the joys and sorrows that went with it... Sheep, Llamas, chickens, geese, ducks, dogs, grapes, tractors.... this book has it all.
I have many a conversation with my customers about our farm. Lots of these conversations include a little giggle about the "romanticising" of small acreage farming. It really is hard to explain to people that next to parenting, this is the most heart-breaking yet elating job I have ever had. The valleys and peaks are ginormous. Ms. Friend does a great job of guiding the reader through her sorrows and celebrations.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the idea of farming or who grew up on a farm, but left with good reasons. It's a crack-up!! It's a quick read, probably even a beach read. Watch out 'Egg Girls' you may be getting this book for Christmas!
Finally though, I think it bears mentioning that this book helped me reaffirm that I love what I do, even if I'm not always good at it. Ms. Friend shares her biggest mistakes and sorrows. That's tough. She made me believe, again, that all things will turn out just fine. Thanks Catherine.

;) jenn

P.S. I just found out that the same author has written a book called The Compassionate Carnivore. Anyone read it? Can I borrow it? Maybe the library'll have it!!

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