August 27, 2013
Chickens in the Road by Suzanne McMinn
I greatly enjoyed this memoir. Partly because it reminded me some of my own life, and partly because I liked the descriptions of farm life and animal stories. And I never even knew there was a blog that it came out of, I'll definitely be checking that out.
After a divorce, McMinn packs up her kids and moves to West Virginia, right in the area that her father grew up. For the first year or so, they live in a slanted house that is rural, but not a farm. And after meeting a man she calls "52", they eventually buy a farm and forty acres out in the middle of nowhere and she starts her farm dream. She starts adding animals and discovers that there is a lot of work to running a farm. And even more when relationships aren't all you thought they would be.
McMinn is living a dream. I'm very envious of her. I've always wanted my own farm and to have animals and chickens. And I did once, but I ended up with someone much like 52 and that dream got put on hold as a result. So that's why I feel a kinship to McMinn. She's experienced the same as what I have. 52, while originally nice, started becoming emotionally and verbally abusive as soon as they bought the house. When she wrote about what he said it could have been taken right out of my life, down to the same type of words. It was a little scary actually. And it drove me nuts that she tried to overlook things that he did because love is blind sometimes. She does meet a lot of good people though. Just the townsfolk and neighbors that she has are often characters and lend a helping hand whenever needed.
I enjoyed hearing about her farm life and the animals she took care of. She has some great stories. But this book could have also been called "Escape from 52" because that was just as much of the plot. And she writes it very well. I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what happened and how she dealt wit him. A lot of suspense there. This is a memoir in every sense of the word, not just a homesteading book. Although it had those elements as well. And there is a nice little section in the back with craft instructions and recipes. And a section in the middle with a lot of great pictures.
An inspiring book and one that rekindles my want of a farm someday. It's nice to know that people can make dreams happen, even if they have to face some obstacles to get there.
Chickens in the Road