Book Reviews

The Woefield Poultry Collective

I don’t think I’ve ever done a book report that wasn’t required by some curriculum. My goal this year is to finish reading 50 books. I like a little wiggle room for times when the book I am reading is tiresome and it takes longer than a week to read so that is why 52 is just too much of a goal.

The book I have recommended the most this year so far is:

The Woefield Poultry Collective, Susan Juby

This one is worth the price of admission as a satirical look at an NYC girl deciding to make a go of running a farm she inherited. Very few books make me actually laugh out loud even if they are humorous. The first chapter here had me spit out my coffee, and I didn’t resent the waste.

It is hard to write a protagonist as endearing as Prudence. She believes in everything organic, farmers’ markets, living off the land, good hard work will conquer all, and everything can be learned from a book and applied with impeccable results. But she does it all without the preachy vegan friend vibe that would seem to go with her personality. Instead, she is helpful and encouraging and engagingly optimistic.

What Prudence didn’t count on when she left her NYC high apartment was the state of the land she inherited on Vancouver Island. Rocks, sand, a partially sheared sheep, and a lack-lustre 70-something farmhand with a secret make the challenge of creating the ideal world Prudence envisioned a difficult reality. But she did get a few radishes…

A consummate dreamer rarely comes down from the clouds. Instead, Prudence lines her clouds with silver and maybe a touch of whimsy. The bank doesn’t have to know she has no qualifications to run a rehab centre, really? Or a writing group for that matter. Maybe she should have been a bit more forthright as the banker’s niece shows up as a reluctant candidate for rehab.

There is romance, chickens, port-a-potties, reunions, and it all adds up to a rebirth of Prudence and her merry band of misfits. It is hard not to love this book. I read it in a couple of days because I couldn’t wait to see what these characters got up to next. Would the sheep ever get the sanitary pads off his feet? Would Alec Baldwin win at the fair and make Sara the envy of the Jr Poultry Fancier’s Club? What really happened with Seth and his teacher in high school and will his heavy metal blog survive his being sober? Will all of this madness let Prudence keep her farm and get the handsome Vet to boot?

Pick up this book, sit back and enjoy the smell of bluegrass. It is definitely worth the read.

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