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Sherryanne    3

I empathize with her and was happy to read of the difficulty the many changes presented to her. It was the bases of understanding her journey? 

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Melj    1

The nonstop whining is about to make me quit reading. Also who sits in the other room drinking wine when something that important is happening??

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Shyreads    0

I'm half way thorough and struggling because of all the blaming. I'm hoping that by the end she'll have a redemption moment and stop playing the victim. Everything is always someone's fault. Her first goats have just disappeared and that's not only their fault but also the woman who sold them to her? Ugh.

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Laura Karan    3

i  didn’t really enjoy this book , but I finished it because i grew up on a farm & couldn’t believe all the trouble they got into with their animals. 

I guess there are different levels of poverty . I have worked hard for a living for over 30 years & have yet to own a dishwasher, eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream , or drink booze on a regular basis. My kids never had the privilege of attending private school . Paying my bills takes priorities over indulging in the aforementioned luxuries. Therefore I find it extremely difficult to sympathize with the author or her husband. 

Glad I’m finished this book & GLAD THE WHINING IS OVER!

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MRSP    1

"It's bad luck for a pregnant goat to stare at a dying chicken."
OMG-did she really say that???

That's it, I can't handle it anymore! I'm done.
I had such high hopes for this book. 
Waving the white flag-I give up. Not wasting any more of my time on this :(

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Lrlan    1
On 4/8/2018 at 5:50 AM, Anne McC said:

I didn't think the writing was so bad.  Very like a report on a conference or business trip but the constant self pity was tiresome.  As was the reverential eulogies to grandparents, very old, frail, seriously ill people who, themselves, probably didn't recall their hardscrabble backgrounds with any kind of fondness.

 

 

"Tiresome" is exactly the right word. We get it, Jen: you wallowed. 

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Camille    5

I'm so relieved that I wasn't the only one to feel this way.  The author's ongoing blame of others for her situation was initially exasperating, but rage-inducing by the end of the book...especially because they continued to make exceptionally poor choices.  It's baffling to me that even someone who isn't mathematically inclined can't do the basic cost-benefit analysis to determine that starting a livestock venture so you can make cheese isn't a good return on investment.  I feel like the author epitomizes the sorry-not sorry, entitled mindset that seems prevalent.  As someone above mentioned; I'm glad that I don't know these people.

I'm disappointed that with all the great books available, this was the one selected for a library-wide read.  I hope the next one is better.

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pia    1
Posted (edited)

Replying to Camille:. I thought there was some good reasoning in having goats  1) empty nest syndrome (She was a pretty good mom that liked to cook for her kids and got them educated and off to college as well as worked part time.  Her parents, Baby Boom parents, often consisted of a stay at home mom..). 2) The irs can't tax goat milk that they do not sell or buy or the pleasure and grounding of owning the goats.. They will never get out from under their tax burdens so they are living for what they can get in the moment.  Of course, goat ownership is not for everyone.  You would have to enjoy it owning goats.. Not everything has strictly economic benefits.

Edited by pia

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Onemouth    1
On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 5:18 PM, Judith said:

I thought her need to be protected was understandable considering her experience with first husband. Some of the problems seem because of two workers, 3 children, pets. Life is too full this way no time for all the details. People fall through the cracks. 

I agree with Judith's comments. I think many judge before they wear the shoes. Also, I didn't find the book to be that bad for a first time author.

 

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Tim    0

I am so glad I came to the comments here. I was excited to participate in one of these readings. The beginning was interesting, but then Jen started to wear on me. I struggled to finish this book. Im glad I am not alone in my thinking.

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Booklover    3

Wow, I saw this totally differently -- I get what folks say about the 'whining' and the "but I was the victim here" kind of thing, only I saw it as describing how she had felt at the time.  I felt that the book was written from the perspective of history, after she had changed that perception through growth and experiences, and come to realize and accept that she was indeed responsible for her own life and for her own choices in the past (as are we all).  

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Frankly7    1

I can't finish it. I was so tired of the excuses. And the sappy audio reader's voice did not fit my idea of the author's age. She sounds like a dotty 80 year old. I had just completed "Educated" by Tara Westover, which is such a well written memoir, that I can't help but compare the two. I was sad it was my only audio book on my road trip.

i have no respect for people who are so well educated, not in a culture of poverty, yet ignore the obvious and let their lives disintegrate. The memoir did not reflect their personal growth. 

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Dorse    0

I am in the early chapters and cannot bear the excuses and the blaming.  She excuses herself in all areas and completely takes no responsibility for the circumstances 
"caused by her husband" , acts like a victim.  Does this take place in 1950 - can't finish this book.

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Jewels    0

I suffered all the way through this so-called memoir. The writing was poor, especially for an adjunct Professor of English. I could not feel much sympathy for Jennifer and her husband; her whining and blaming of everybody but herself did not make her a likable protagonist. And she finally lost me for good when her solution to her financial problems was to take out student loans and pursue a master’s degree, instead of finding a job (or two).

Thos book was pretty much a waste of time.

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Linda mae    0

  I also found the main/character very self pitying,,, as a landlord with past tenants soo so simular, it was however very insightful, just to hear from a different point of view

i often say what were they thinking,, beer, dogs, book club meals out, ect when under so much debt, but after reading the authors thoughts, can see the possible thinking, dont agree with it

i did like her style of writing easy to read, little snippets of how tos, from the angle of a new to back to the land persons; knowledge <googled<, the recipes, and some very realistic feelings concerning bankrupting  , abuse, marriage, ect

maybe she chose to make the lead character like she did on purpose, to make/her readers say, silly woman- and so let us readers learn/know what not to do

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Patty D    3

I had never been in a book club before and was surprised at all the judgement about the author and her memoir. When you are writing your true feelings, of course you are going to sound like a "whiner". When you are hurt and in pain, what do you expect is going to be expressed? This is one of the reasons I enjoyed reading the book. David and Jennifer lost their house like so many Americans did in the economic downturn, and for the same reasons, they over-extended themselves. To me this book was a window into the minds and hearts of those Americans who got caught up in living the "good life", wanting what the Jones have. This is our culture, we're are caught up in a world where materialism is our daily life. This is the kind of thing I thought we would be talking about.

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yakkergirl    0

I agree with the others that there was way to much self pity and whining. I also agree that this book did not just grab me and make me want to keep going. I do see somewhat the message the author was trying to send but it was just not a real exciting read.

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Tee    2

I couldn't become interested, either.

As she describes her life, she expected to be able to have the best, always, and she truly believed being a homemaker/soccer mom was equal to being a breadwinner. She never mentions an act of charity or giving.

Everything is focused on what she thought she needed to feel safe and successful -- with no apparent awareness that those things usually originate from within, not from private school, your SUV, multiple pets, or the husband whose problems you are too self centered to notice.

Then, it all falls down and she contrives to form a business that is tax avoidant. Not good with numbers? Huh?

As for choice for the Big Read, all I can imagine is the "Great Recession" seemed like a subject readers could relate to, and discuss. However, never had her advantages, nor her convenient back up holler home. 

Just can't bring myself to read on, hoping for a moment of self awareness. Raw material for it doesn't seem to exist. 

Actually reminded me of an acquaintance, in 2010, who was similarly occupied (homemaker in a wealthy area) very vocally stressing over the possible amount of her husband's upcoming brokerage firm bonus. Six figure bonus. In front of people who worked three jobs and were being evicted.

How about a book for the rest of us?

 

all

all

5 h, the whining..All I can think is that this book was chosen because most of us were impacted in some way by the "Great Recession" and this a book on this topic would be one a lot of people could empathize with and discuss.

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GwenM    3

I'm having trouble finishing this book as well...I didn't even get to the goats yet! I was expecting a story about an average family fighting their way through some tough times. Instead it's the story of a spoiled woman who grew up in a well off family, married to an man making six figures as an accountant, who nonetheless thinks paying income taxes is optional; neither of whom can quite believe the world expects you to pay your bills.

Having lived way beyond their means for years, when it really hits the fan they continue to spend money they don't have on private schools because their child is too special for public schools, and beer - lots and lots of craft beer because they are also very special. They can't move to a different place where there might be better opportunities for someone with a Masters degree (!) because their family history is too special to leave the area.

They don't even have to live in their car because they are given access to a family property for a nominal rent, which even though it's in rough shape is better than the homeless shelter a family that started out in lesser circumstances might end up in. They are fixing the place up with the money they saved by not paying their bills. As I said, I'm still reading, but I won't be surprised if they install stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

So yeah, not feeling any sympathy. This story has PRIVELEGE stamped on every page.

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Azwoman    0

I agree, all this character does is whine.  When she’s not whining about her choices in life, she operates in panic mode or at least letting her emotions cloud her judgement.  

 

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Cjkaruna    2

This book is written in a choppy way and I could not wrap my mind around the author’s obliviousness to the conditions in her life, both to what brought her and her husband to such financial devastation AND their rough circumstances in the woods. 

My sister has lots of goats and just started making goat cheese so i enjoyed the goat stories. I generally like books that have recipes but I will never make any of these so it was not as interesting, 

I don’t really understand why this book was chosen.

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Fifi    1

Agree about the whining.   The lack of self reflection  about why she allowed herself to get into these situations is maddening.   

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