This book is presented like a homesteader's guidebook ("First they modified a cooler by poking a hole in it for a lightbulb's cord to fit."), or even a self-help tome ("I hereby give myself permission to be illogical, contradictory, crazy, and strange -- whatever it takes to find a meaningful way to be in the world.").
However, don't be fooled. This book is really a memoir, and it's a powerful one, like a contemporary version of what it was like to read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie". I plan to buy it for several friends and family members this Christmas. It's the kind of thing that should be read aloud to children (Ages 7-11) or given to teens who don't have a view into this kind of life.
If you liked or hated "Eat Pray Love", this book is a bit like that one, but done right. You get a very real sense of Wendy and her partner Mikey are doing with their lives - reading more about them on their websites makes it even more interesting. Who gives up the go-go world of advertising and marketing and corporate everything and drivenness and salaries to forage in dumpsters for junk and make their own fermented food? Well, normal people do, that's who. And they have found happiness doing it.
While you read it, you'll realize, even if you have zero intention of ever doing anything remotely like this with your life, that you are relaxing physically. You'll take some of Wendy's perspectives to heart, and you'll think of them as you live and work.
Some of the lovely takeaways from this book, that go way beyond homesteading, include:
- "View your life from the perspective of abundance, not lack"
- "With time, you can listen instead of hear and see instead of look"
- "Just get started - even if you don't know how"
- "Buy goods from people rather than from corporations"
- "Real quality of life is freedom from worry"
It is simply full of gems like this. So if you don't already live this kind of life - welcome to an enjoyable reading experience, that can fill a cold rainy day with bright warm sunshine.