From Publishers Weekly
Manhattan freelance writer Ward and his wife, Heather, faced a steep learning curve when they abandoned harried, technology-driven lives for a year not just in the country but in the country as it was a century ago. Their mantra was, If it didn't exist in 1900, we will do without, and they did—no electricity, no telephone, no computer. This breezy account of their stubbornly quixotic odyssey begins in June 2000, with Logan exhausted pumping water from a well, ineptly milking cantankerous goats and confronting his fear of a 2,000-pound Percheron, while Heather coped with the cooking stove's suffocating heat, her fear of snakes and hand-scrubbing two-year-old Luther's cloth diapers. Their garden, planted late, was soon parched by drought and plagued by pests, the most severe of several crises, since it was their winter food. Ward writes candidly about how tempers flared and sexual intimacy vanished in the early months of their adventure, but the stress of a daunting new experience soon settled into the comfort of routine, as the couple canned dozens of quarts of produce once the rains returned and forged friendships with curious, ultimately supportive country neighbors. This lyrical account of keeping the 21st century at bay is more real, and more rewarding, than any survival TV show. (June)
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"It is difficult to imagine any library, public or academic, that would not want to purchase this book, informed throughout by Ward's wry sense of humor, passion, and objectivity." Library Journal, starred review
"Lucid and insightful." Idaho Statesman
"[A] carefully detailed narrative." TimesCommunity.com
"Rich with insights into the struggles and rewards he countered by turning the clock back one full century." Isthmus: The Daily Page
"A lively tale, told with admirable honesty." Raleigh News & Observer