From Publishers Weekly
Roach is best known for her popular and critically acclaimed gardening blog, A Way to Garden. In this personal memoir, she describes her transformation as she sheds her corporate carapace as editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and begins life in a small upstate New York town. She expects to find peace and solitude there, a place to discern a new identity, independent of her professional success. Instead, she finds herself untethered and unexpectedly fearful of snakes, snow storms, and silence. A circuitous spiritual journey follows as Roach consults with an assortment of shamans and matchmakers and the occasional exterminator. She eventually finds some ballast in the deeper rhythms of country life and the reliable kindness of neighbors. Roach™s gardening writing on her blog and in her previous book (A Way to Garden) is clear, thorough, and thoughtful. Readers may appreciate her candid, stream-of-consciousness style in this memoir, but it is too unstructured and inchoate to be as satisfying as her other work. (Feb.)
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Perhaps it’s the twenty-first century’s most existential question: who am I if not my e-mail address? After leaving her coveted position as editorial director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Roach deleted the @ and dot-com from the end of her name and suddenly found herself adrift in both the cyber world of instant access and the concrete world of dwindling bank accounts. More rudderless than any 50-year-old woman with a solid-gold reputation (and AmEx card) should be, Roach retreated to her weekend getaway home in upstate New York and turned it into her primary residence and place of business. She was now Margaret Roach, Inc., but what would she produce? A keen observer of the avian and amphibian life sheltered by her country property, city-girl Roach took comfort in their rituals and habits, adopting what she could for her own unsettled existence. As she moves through the seasons of her first year in self-imposed exile, Roach limns a reflective odyssey for affirmation and acceptance that blends Zen-like wisdom with zany escapades. --Carol Haggas