Thursday 19 April 2012

Book ~ "Woefield Poultry Collective" (2011) Susan Juby

From ~ Woefield Farm is a sprawling thirty acres of scrub land, complete with dilapidated buildings and one half-sheared, lonely sheep named Bertie. It's "run"— in the loosest possible sense of the word—by Prudence Burns, an energetic, well-intentioned 20-something New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, but without an iota of related skills or experience. Prudence, who inherited the farm from her uncle, soon discovers that the bank is about to foreclose on the property, which means that she has to turn things around, fast. But fear not! She'll be assisted by Earl, a spry 70-something, banjo-playing foreman, with a distrust of newfangled ideas and a substantial family secret; Seth, the alcoholic, celebrity-blogging guy-next-door, who hasn't left the house since a scandal with his high-school drama teacher; and Sara Spratt, a highly organized eleven-year-old looking for a home for her prize-winning chickens, including one particularly randy fellow soon to be christened Alec Baldwin.

I checked out this book because I'd read and enjoyed Juby's bio, Nice Recovery, and she's a Canadian author. To be honest, I was hesitant to read it once I saw the description ... plus, the first chapter didn't grab me. But I'm happy I kept with it because I enjoyed it.

It's a quirky story of Prudence who lives in New York and is into recycling and saving Mother Earth. When her great uncle Harold dies and leaves her his farm is British Columbia, she has dreams of making the farm sustainable. Unfortunately Uncle Harold owed a lot of money on the farm and Prudence lies to the bank manager to get a loan extension claiming she is going to open a treatment centre.

Living with the energetic and optimistic Prudence and working on the farm are an odd assortment ... Seth, Earl and Sara. The book's chapters are in their four voices. Seth is an alcoholic who swears a lot, Earl is an old man who has lived on the farm for years and Sara is a troubled kid keeps her chickens on the farm. They are all the family they have.

It's a fun book you should check out. In the U.S., it's known as Home to Woefield.

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