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Rurally Screwed: A Memoir of Losing Myself for Love Paperback – April 2, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425253473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425253472
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,428,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A tale at once hilarious and touching.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A memoir of nitty-gritty adjustments, of the Herculean personal growth demanded with a committed partnership…A memoir with unexpected, unpretentious—and very funny—heft; the story of a young woman who drives herself so hard for a couple of decades that she neglects to notice who she is. Then, after an interlude spent raising chickens, canning, sewing her own clothes, attempting Bible study and overthinking almost everything about rural life, the young woman gets real.”—

Rurally Screwed is really about trying to define ourselves, and how that experience can make us feel authentic and synthetic all at once. Knadler articulates her journey in a manner so self-deprecating and hilarious that it doesn't take long to realize she isn't ridiculing rural Virginia, she’s analyzing her own place in it...She is braver than most writers would be about exposing the vulnerable underbelly of her new marriage, and about how close she came to throwing in the clogs. The story is at times very raw, and embarrassingly personal in a way that will feel familiar to many readers. Knadler risks a lot, even the wrath of people she could still potentially meet in the aisles of the Lexington Walmart. Though she probably felt as if she was gambling it all with Rurally Screwed, the result is a story so genuine and touching that she won it all back—and then some.”—The Roanoke Times

"Jessie Knadler's story about leaving the glossy office buildings and late nights of Manhattan to take a chance on love and create a new life in rural Lexington, Virginia, sounds like something out of a movie. But as Rurally Screwed shows, the most unexpected life events and happiest endings—not to mention the hottest cowboys—don't just appear on the silver screen. Jessie takes a lively, self-deprecating yet thoughtful approach to her particular fish-out-of-water tale. I laughed, winced and nodded my head in agreement more times than I can count. But most important, she shows that risks have their rewards, that it is possible to leave the worst of one's old life behind without abandoning the best of oneself."—Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel

“Jessie Knadler’s memoir, Rurally Screwed…is more than a fast-paced ride through the rodeo scene of relationships from Manhattan to Montana, but an examination of American life, the things we take for granted and the things we ought to cherish. Reading about Knadler’s search for inner peace helped this reader find some too.”—Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

“Hilarious, romantic and real. Jessie Knadler’s writing made me feel every single emotion of her journey from the big city to the deep country—only I didn’t have to kill a single chicken or ride an actual horse. Although I may have fallen in love with her husband a little bit...”—Lara Naaman, writer/producer, Good Morning America

“At once brutally honest and over-the-top hilarious, Rurally Screwed is the most engaging and relatable book about marriage I've ever read. And I've read most of them. Knadler takes readers on a journey from her stalled life as a New York City single girl to the wilds of Virginia, where she settles down with a cowboy, eighty-some chickens and a cellar stocked with moonshine. Along the way, she learns there's nothing romantic about chopping firewood and nothing easy about being married—but that after the sweat dries, the rewards of both are pretty awesome. Anyone who is married, has ever been married or is considering one day getting married has to read this book.”—Paula Szuchman, coauthor of It's Not You, It's the Dishes

"This book is really a love story. It’s about falling for an unexpected person, learning to love a new place, and when life gets tough, figuring out what the heart really wants. I started out laughing and ended with a lump in my throat. And because the tale is told with such humor and searing honesty, you’ll grow so attached to Jessie and Jake, you’ll be tempted to move off the grid with them.”—Amy Spencer, author of Bright Side Up

“I found myself laughing out loud…I also found myself feeling empathetic, understanding the heart-wrenching separation and frustrations that come with coupledom…This book was an inspiring and fun read. It’s a book that all women can relate to, even if they aren’t leaving behind the big city for Green Acres. Jessie, as a character in the book and in real life, is a strong, witty, courageous and hilarious woman.”—Breathe

“Most romantic comedies end at the declaration of love and never explore the happily ever after. Rurally Screwed entertains by continuing well past the ‘I do’ and, best of all, this is a real-life romance, a memoir with a hilarious narrator…Rurally Screwed is also a hero's journey as Jessie navigates her relationship with various identities—a child from Montana, a woman from New York, a wife in rural Virginia. Her searing wit and unflinching honesty is a pleasure to read…Fans of Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman will love Rurally Screwed, as will anyone who has fallen madly in love with his or her opposite.”—Book Club Classics

“[A] classic pastoral narrative…What makes it compelling is the manner in which [Jessie] struggles with her identity, as defined almost entirely by external markers. Her journey takes her from a place where the only identity she knows is the one on the outside to a place where she learns to inhabit a more genuine self from the inside. Perhaps it's simply a story of growing up, but in a world in which the Internet has only amplified the ferocity of the fashion cycles, the urgency of lifestyle choices, one can't help feeling for her as she finds it so very difficult to define herself in a world she can't quite recognize.”—Bookslut

"Quirky, laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, passionate...A great love story that carries on past 'I Do' and 'Happily Ever After.'"—San Francisco Book Review

About the Author

Jessie Knadler is a writer whose articles and stories have appeared in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Glamour. She is the coauthor of the preserving cookbook Tart and Sweet. Her blog has been featured in Newsweek and French Elle. She lives with her husband, her daughter, and a bunch of chickens in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

This was a fun book to read.
Makes us wonder what is possible in life if we give love a chance.
Audrey Bullard
This was a very raw, honest and courageous well written book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By JessHB on August 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually leave reviews because I generally agree with the consensus of other reviews. However, I think this book has a way too favorable overall review. The story started out okay. However, the second half was torturously slow. The main character was constantly whining about everything and not communicating her feelings to her husband. It was really frustrating to "watch" this woman with little or no self-awareness get in the way of her own happiness. The worst part is that in the end I don't think she ever really "got it". She seemed to be placated by circumstances and distracted from her feelings. I just don't think she ever reached the point of being comfortable in her skin the way her husband is. As a result the book was an uncomfortable and unsatisfying read. I am tired of reading about women with no sense of self who passively act as if they are victims of circumstance and fail to see their role in creating their problems.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By sherry Fowler on October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I made myself plow through this book till the end--no pun intended--and with every page I kept asking myself,"what's keeping me from enjoying this book?" Well, the reason became pretty clear. The author may be too hard on herself. The book is intended to try and share her perspective on her radical shift in lifestyle with her reader, I get that. Problem is that she chose everything to which she was "subjected". Her misery was completely self imposed so the book comes across as one long whine. Trying to be generous, I kept reminding myself that from the start, the author did not describe a personality type that I would find it easy to click with. Her conviction that her thoughts, attitudes and values are completely superior to anyone else's became tiresome. There is never any real explanation of WHY the author feels she is so much more enlightened than every other character, just a giant ode to ego from page to page.I just couldn't like her and I couldn't get interested in what she thought about things and why she thought that way. It stayed that way until the very last chapter, actually the last HALF of the last chapter. That's when the writer allowed us to see a person with some values, and for the first time in the entire book, she became someone interesting to read. Reading the last chapter, I became intrigued. I wanted to know how a couple of scenarios would play out, her preparations for another life-changing event were engaging and I wanted to know how she would cope with some big challenges. I LIKED her and I don't understand why she waited til the last ten pages to show the reader someone who can capture our attention.Read more ›
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Meghan K. White on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I purchased the Kindle version of this book on a whim. I knew that the author was a blogger, so I checked out her site. She seemed funny, quick, sarcastic and smart. I thought the book would provide for some light plane reading as I readied for a long trip. While the book is indeed witty, it is so much more. It really speaks to any woman who has made big changes in her life for a man and keeps looking back over her shoulder questioning herself, her decisions, her partner, her "new" life. The depths and insights in this book begin to unveil themselves in the final 50 pages. The book made me laugh for 100 pages, made me think (really hard) for 50 pages and made me cry for 20 pages or so. In the end, I felt that I could really relate to the author even though I reside in suburbia, have not ridden a horse since I was 10 and my gardening is limited to herbs on the patio. Mostly, this is a funny insightful book about life's big decisions, our changing identities as the years march on and how we can learn to accept ourselves at each stage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Adams English on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Some blogs you go to because they make you inquisitive and speculative, offering contemplative morsels for rumination. Others you go to because they always have a good take-away something or other, whether that's a recipe for stellar chocolate cake or a DIY on making your own laundry detergetn. And then there are those you go to for a chuckle, a chortle, a guffaw, or an all-out belly laugh. Jessie Knadler and her blog, Rurally Screwed, get filed into the latter category.

I'm not sure how I found Jessie's blog. It was several years ago, and it was winter. Those are the specifics I recall with any degree of clarity. It doesn't really matter how I found her, though, because once I sampled her wry wit and outsider's take on life in the mountains of southern Virginia, I knew I'd be back. In Rurally Screwed, Jessie calls it like she sees it. Whether it's her daughter, her marriage, her husband, her town's citizens or herself she's got in her cross hairs, Jessie gives it to you straight. And it's always hilarious.

Jessie's newest venture, Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid With the Cowboy I Love, is a compendium of that hilarity. Her book tells the tale of how this (at the time) Manhattan-based, designer label-wearing, Kundalini-practicing, hard-partying women's magazine editor met, fell in love with, and went on to marry Jake, a man who, at least on the surface, seems in every way her polar opposite. He's a Garth Brooks-listening, cowboy hat-wearing, church-going ranch hand and the two find salvation in each other at an untrained horse & bull-riding rodeo she's covering in Montana, her home state. And he's perfect for her.

I think Jessie, and her writing, are grand. She's brassy and ballsy and gutsy and every other superlative you can apply to a brave person.
Read more ›
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