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Jules    14

The first time it's a mistake.  The second time it's a choice.  The third and fourth and fifth time, and on and on, well you can only put the blame elsewhere so many times.  Eventually, you either choose to fix it, or you put yourself in a state of willful ignorance.  There was a whole lot of willful ignorance in this book.

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I would have preferred to see a Question and Answer with the author's husband at the end of the book. He is so vilified at the beginning I would like him to be able to share his side of the matter.

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Mickes    2

I agree. As someone who had parents that made similar decisions and had to live with foreclosure and being poor during the recession, I was able to see the adult side of the life I lived. however, it did not make me more empathetic. I was furious the way they were spending their money. Are you serious? Still paying for private school??? I KNOW it was her sons senior year, and it's a terrible thing to happen to him, but to spend thousands of dollars when youre already in so much debt. Also, it drive me CRAZY that they did not move so that she could get a better job, and that she abandoned her husband for some breathing room. You left him in charge of the finances and he messed up BIG TIME, but to not take responsibility. She never truly seemed sorry. It's one thing to mourn what you lost, it's another to blame your spouse. Being ignorant of their situation was her error. 

I did love the goats, and that ultimately they were happy. And I actually liked her prose, which is how i was able to get through it. But it drives me crazy that people like this judge people my age for how we spend our money. If anything living through the recession made us more frugal. 

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Fino60    0

Agreed. At first, I was into this book and felt the author was almost describing my life. But after about 3/4 of the way through, the constant whining about all the sacrifices she had to endure while drinking artisan beer gazing at the waterfall on her property, she lost me as a reader. You can only blame others for your misfortune for so long before those around you start tuning you out.

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Danell    0

Count me in with this large group of folks who thought she was a whiner.  I grew tired of her making excuses for everything from why they were in debt to why they couldn't get out of debt.  I'll admit I didn't finish the book. I had enough and stopped reading right after she mentioned drinking local micro brew beer with their meal, while working to clean the cabin.  Her attempt to justify a needless luxury expense was incredible.  I hoped by the end of the book she would admit/discuss how ridiculous her attitude was and apologize to their friends and to the readers in general.  People who default on loans and/or avoid taxes, raise costs for everyone else. From other reviews I have read I'm guessing she isn't contrite in the end.  By the way, I would also hope that after selling this book she is paying back all of the money owed to their friends (the ones they were purchasing their home from) and paid all of her taxes to the government. 

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LauraMcT    5
On 4/14/2018 at 11:58 AM, Booklover said:

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).  

I got no sense that she grew at all or developed a deeper relationship with her husband. Glib and whining until the end.

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DebS    0

I think this memoir will resonate strongly with other people who have experienced loss and life changing events. Whether it is financial ruin, illness or death, events that completely turn your life upside down make you think about everything differently. So this memoir is not a pity party,  it's an exploration of grief. Grief is that strange twilight time that occurs between loss and reinvention. Your thoughts and actions during this time are not logical or practical. I thought this memoir depicted this strange time of worry and hope with humour and fragility. I enjoyed it tremendously.

 

 

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Cjkaruna    2

I am actually a grief counselor and it would have been better for the writer to express grief or some emotion other than surprise and irritation over what happened. Maybe it is the writing itself which is breezy that is the problem here. But I was unable to connect to any depth gained from this experience. Even the end, when she talks about her grandmother! It was hard for me to feel her grief which most likely IS a deeply felt part of her story. 

It may be that the superficial style of writing is why so many of feel that she is whining.

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Strawbyrri    0
On 4/13/2018 at 0:46 PM, Camille said:

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.

I thought the same thing about the return on investment. And I also thought they weren't truly broke because they both worked. I wouldn't have spent my precious money for food on animals that may or may not produce with no kind of farming experience whatsoever.

But also kudos to them for being adventurous and reinventing their life. They lived on a lot of faith while spending themselves down to nothing but $4-something in the bank.

On second thought, I guess they were pretty much broke whenever the tax authorities seized everything in their accounts on a seemingly regular basis. And the paychecks being garnished. It must be very frustrating to work hard and to have it all seized. I really don't know how it was possible for them to have all those luxury foods and alcohol. 

I live on around $9,000 a year. I didn't have much sympathy for them making unwise decisions on their finances. Either live in a fancy house or send your children to private school, but not both. They were bringing in over $100,000 a year! They should have had no money problems at all! 

Oh well, everyone makes mistakes and has lessons to learn. I'm glad Jennifer realized about her living life as always someone else and not her true self. I have had that same problem in my life, living as anyone else, not my own self, rejecting myself and not even knowing who I am. Being afraid to search in myself for who I am. But also taking notes this year on things I find out about myself so I can learn who I am and what I want. So I truly empathized with Jennifer on that point.

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