Starting a country homestead was Catherine's partner's dream and not her own. I recommend this book not only to those wishing to farm, but to anyone in a relationship where one person's ambitions take up more space than what's comfortable (for example, a career in medicine or international diplomacy).
"Half writer, half farmer. Talk about unoriginal--other men and women fell in love with different people, but I kept falling in love with the same one.
Honestly, Catherine Friends Hit by a Farm would not have been on my radar at all had I not seen a flyer at our local library announcing that she is speaking there next week. Hmm, I thought, I had looked for this book a few times in the past, because I actually knew her partner Melissa thirty-some years ago when we were in a womens group in Minneapolis. I bumped into her at a concert in Zumbrota a couple years ago, and she told me that she and her partner, writer Catherine Friend, had a sheep farm. First of all, I smiled through the opening chapters because Friends description of Melissa reminded me so much of the person I remembered from those days in the early 80s a gentle, funny, considerate woman. Along with the day-to-day toil of shepherding (and raising chickens, trying to establish a vineyard, coping with an ailing parent) and the personal struggles within the relationship, Friend writes about things that some readers, especially those of us who have never been exposed to farming, may find challenging to think about. Even though Melissa and Catherine did not name their sheep, they still tried to raise them humanely and it was painful to lose animals. I read some reviews that complain that Catherine Friend whines too much in this book. Thank you, Catherine Friend, for an eye-opening, entertaining look at life on your farm.
What I didn't love about this book: I was a little disappointed by how much the author whines about life on the farm. I understand that this is the story about how she *learned* to love the barn, which means that at first she didn't like it very much, but a lot of her complaints seemed silly to me and so I had a hard time feeling a connection with the writer. I am much more like her partner (in fact, I convinced my own spouse to buy a farm and totally change our lives) and so I had a hard time understanding the authors point of view especially when it came to conflict in their relationship.
I was even more thrilled that Catherine Friend, the author, narrated this book. As I knitter, I happen to think that sheep are truly the perfect animal - food and wool. After listening to Catherine, I think this Jersey girl will stick to the suburbs and ordering yarn online. The trials Catherine and her partner Melissa go through on the farm can map onto adult life in the suburbs.
The author and her partner leave the city for farm life. It turned out to be about more than just farm life.
I really enjoyed listening to this book.
Catherine Friend lives on a small farm in southeastern Minnesota -- which inspired both THE PERFECT NEST and HIT BY A FARM.