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MDMama

Doesn’t have the essential element of a memoir: learning about self

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MDMama    10

I was so excited to participate in my first big read, but what a thin first read.  There’s no insight here:  it starts with walking away from responsibilities, refusing to pay the mortgage to friends because “everyone says you shouldn’t if you are going to lose the house”, and then a book report about goat husbandry.  

Where is the insight and arc of personal growth that is essential for a good memoir?  Where is the weaving of relationship impacts created by the author’s choices? 

Instead, I found myself angry when reading the author’s “well it just happened” rationales.  And THEN I questioned the choices:  how could their kids still go to college?  Why did this family sto paying the mortgage so they could stockpile some money to fix up the cabin?  Why didn’t they get side hustle jobs &/or sell firewood and honey &/or get into return to work programs?  Why on earth would the author think it’s fine to owe the government hundreds of thousands of dollars but then enroll in an MFA program?   I found the author’s choices curiously, selfishly myopic and completely outside what I’d consider responsible and realistic. 

For insight into this kind of person, the book is valuable. I can’t believe these are real adults.  I don’t know ANYONE like this.  

For story quality, author’s self insight and reader self insight this book was lacking. Better to go with An Unknown Woman, Glennon Doyle or even any of AJ Jacobs’ books.  

For financial repercussions of bad choices and digging yourself out, it’s lacking.  Do Dave Ramsey.  

Heck, it even lacks compelling animal stories. For those, do James Herriott or Marley and Me   

Such a disappointment   There’s no ‘there’ in there   

 

 

 

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Yes! Thank you!! I kept thinking, why doesn't she just get a full-time job? She listed several she "didn't qualify for", but she never said she actually tried. It wasn't even a good story in my opinion; I kept thinking it would get better or there would be a moment that changed her. After a while, I resorted to skimming pages because I couldn't stand the whining. 

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Miss Anette    11

Amen @MDMama ! This was also my first Big Library Read and I did not enjoy the book. I gave it 3/5 stars on Overdrive. The author is not someone I can connect with. She seemed to pick very controlling partners and took no initiative in her life. For the first half of the book, I kept thinking "Why is this book called Flat Broke with Two Goats?" Then I learned more about goats then I ever wanted to know... ever. 

Even the section where she builds up the suspense to this "shady" couple ends in nothing dramatic.

Overall, it was a poor choice for a book and I would not recommend it. 

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Lrlan    1
On 4/11/2018 at 9:56 AM, BigReader123 said:

After a while, I resorted to skimming pages because I couldn't stand the whining. 

Me, too.

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Cjkaruna    2

Whew! It’s not just me! You have hit upon the reason this book fails - no growth or learning seems to take place other than how to use up all that whey. How can a person cavalierly not pay taxes, lose their house and move from comfort into tumbledown mud without expressing any personal responsibility? 

I hated the abrupt drop off ending but was glad to be done with it.

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KJBL    1
Posted (edited)

I agree with MDMama. Though, I enjoyed the book in a “how stupid can they be?” kind of way, I have to admit I wondered the same thing. We pay our bills, socked money away to send our daughter to school, and didn’t buy the biggest house we could get a loan for. When my brother ended up owing back taxes because he signed the returns his (now ex) wife prepared without reviewing them, I felt he brought the penalty on himself. Perhaps not very charitable, but I did. Still, at least he and the ex submitted returns! 

I understand them coming to the point where they just live day to day, but not how they got to that point  

The author’s husband was a CPA! I can’t believe he was even able to find work as an accountant after such an error. Of course, that seemed to end, so maybe his financial faux pas was the reason. 

One more thing: I couldn’t believe it when she said she hadn’t been a good friend to Denise, but that Denise hadn’t been a good friend to her either. 

I think maybe they should stay in the woods. 

Next book, please. 

Edited by KJBL
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