Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: 500 Acres and No Place to Hide

By Amy Bromberg
Picture a modern day woman fashionista, born and raised in Ridgewood, NJ, who has a prestigious job in New York City. She loves shopping (let’s just saw she bows down to Nordstorm ad Neiman Marcus) for clothes, designer handbags, and shoes (can we say Manolos?), and has to get her weekly blow dry. Can you imagine this woman surviving in the sticks on a farm in Fauquier County, Virginia? I sure can’t. But Susan McCorkindale proves us wrong in her memoir, "500 Acres and No Place to Hide," which is a follow up to "Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl."

After Susan’s husband convinces her to leave her comfortable and familiar lifestyle, Susan has some trouble adapting to living on a farm. But after a few years she comes to the epiphany, as I quote from the back of the book “YOU CAN TAKE THE WOMAN OUT OF NEW JERSEY, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE THE NEW JERSEY OUT OF THE WOMAN.” She makes it work for her. She wanders in the mud, attending to the farm and the animals wearing her fashionable shoes. With humor, wit, and a little craziness, she deals with the farm animals wandering into her house, taking a short leave of absence from the farm, a frog on her bathroom window, and with the pleasures of having to handle snakes. The readers are right along with her as she becomes the “manager” of the farm due to her husband’s diagnosis of cancer.

It’s been a very long time since I have read a book where I have laughed out loud as much as I have with this one. I shared with my husband some of the things Susan wrote because they are SO hilarious. I can totally see Susan being a guest on the Chelsea Handler show and the two women hitting it off. The underlying theme and message throughout her journeys, is to always look for humor in situations that life throws you, and not take life too seriously. We see this in her dealings with cows, crazy chickens, goats, and raising two boys, one of whom is autistic. And on the more serious side, getting her family, her husband, and her herself through the tragedy of her husband’s struggles with cancer.

I recommend this book to just about anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what roles you play, life always throws us challenges. If we try to remember that laughter is the best medicine, we might cope with these challenges more successfully.

There's still time to enter to win this novel, if you live in the US. Check out our recent giveaway from "What's in the Mail Today?" It ends at midnight EST, so hurry up!

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