January 22, 2013

Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas

This book absolutely exhausted me. But by the end I knew I enjoyed it despite that fact; there is something utterly heartwarming about this memoir.

Jeanne has been a city girl for a long time. Single in her late thirties, she finds herself in a relationship with a man a decade or so her senior but the relationship works and she finds herself wanting other things. Alex is a pretty easy going guy too so when she gets the "farm dream" in her head, he's right there with her helping to look for a piece of property in which to go homestead on. Him and his poodle that is; one of Jeanne's greatest bewilderments with Alex is the fact that he likes poodles. They do find a farm though and start a great adventure, involving locals, groundhogs, stubborn brush, and a myriad of other things that city girl just wouldn't expect.

Jeanne is very fair to the people she describes. In fact, her neighbors sound like the best people on earth and she is very lucky to have them. I'm jealous in fact, I would love to have neighbors like that. Maybe one day, or maybe you just have to be in a rural area, it's hard to say. She also doesn't hold back on her affection for Alex either. It's plain to see that they both appreciate and love each other and that's special. Even her love for the animals comes right out of the pages. You feel very close to the people and animals and can definitely picture them in real life.

Her writing style is a bit wacky. As I said before the book made me exhausted and that's because the voice of the book was like an overexcited five year old. It jumped from topic to topic in a stream of consciousness and it was all I could do to keep up. I wasn't overly thrilled with that kind of writing style, but Jeanne was so open that I couldn't help but like her anyway. And I loved the way she did the ending, I very much appreciated the epilogue of sorts she provided. Since the book covers a year or so of her life I thought it was the appropriate length. A lot happened in that time and while the book could have been dull, it wasn't because she was able to make her activities sound exciting, even if they were as mundane as planting grass seed.

A hyper active book but one that's a good read and inspiring. Jeanne makes me want to have a farm of my own again someday.

Fifty Acres and a Poodle
Copyright 2000
272 pages


  1. I'm not sure I'm ready for a hyperactive book although it does sound like a good story.

  2. It was a good story. If you're looking for something a little more mellow though, Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend is a good homesteading memoir. Thanks for stopping by!