Wednesday 29 May 2019

Book ~ "Field Notes: A City Girl's Search for Heart and Home in Rural Nova Scotia" (2016) Sara Jewell

From Goodreads ~ “When my husband told me he didn’t want to be married any longer, I didn’t call a lawyer, talk to my minister, or even tell my best friend. My first thought - and only plan - was go to Pugwash.”

So begins Sara Jewell’s tender and heartfelt collection of essays. After a childhood of idyllic summers on Canada’s east coast, Sara knew the only place she could begin to rebuild her life - to find her heart and home - was amid the salty air and red dirt roads of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

Part humorous observation and part honest self-reflection, Sara deftly explores the people, creatures, landscapes, and experiences that make her life in rural Nova Scotia so different from the big-city one she’d grown accustomed to.

They say you can never go back. But they are wrong.

Sara Jewell was born in Toronto and raised in Cobourg and Trenton, ON.  During the summers when she was growing up, she spent time vacationing in rural Nova Scotia with her family.  She's had various jobs over the years including as an educator, in radio and as an essayist. 

When her first marriage broke up, she was living in Vancouver, BC ... she packed up her stuff (including her dog) and headed east to Ontario to be with her parents and spent some time in Pugwash, NS.  She met and married met Dwayne, a "country boy", moving to his farm.  This book is a collection of her essays about living there.

The topics cover her friends, family, neighbours, local wildlife, farm animals, pets, living in the country and more.  Keep in mind that they were written by a "city" girl now living in the country.  I'm the opposite of Sara ... I'm originally from Nova Scotia and have been away for 30+ years.  So in some ways, I could relate (but in reverse perhaps at times?) to some of her stories. 

I enjoyed this book.  I liked the writing style and found it conversational.  As a head's up, there is some minor swearing.  My favourite story was The Rural Wavelength, which was about the "behavior genetically implanted" in Nova Scotians because they wave at everyone ... she surmises that waving must be how Maritimers got their reputation for being so friendly.

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