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The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love Paperback – April 12, 2011
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kimball's voice is refreshingly unsentimental, and even in her darkest hour of the soul, she never resorts to whining. She has her doubts, to be sure, which make for an authentic, compelling read. I recommend this memoir to anyone looking for a well-written story not just about building a farm from the ground up, but also about handling the unexpected turns life sometimes takes.
Though this book is a book about farming and the lives of a husband and a wife, the book ultimately connects readers to themselves and the world around them.
I was looking forward to romanticized stories on farming and fresh, local food. But I got so much more.
Kristin Kimball allowed me to explore a world I'd never really understood with language that's beautiful, evocative and direct.
More than just giving me a window into the farming life, I felt like I could touch and taste it. The grueling work. The connection with the animals. The joy of creation right alongside the very real fear of failure. I felt like I lived the stories, met the people, and ate the food.
Reading "The Dirty Life" is like receiving a wonderfully generous gift. You're able to accept it without feeling guilty for not wanting to make the same trade-offs. You just want to say a heartfelt "thank you" and share it with the people you care about.
I wanted to love this book, but found myself disappointed by the lack of deeper characterizations and motives revealed. Many of the author's actions, large and small, are described, but go unexamined and unexplained. I wanted a 'new best friend' in this book, but I found the author oddly emotionally unavailable, offering what felt to me like detached, generic platitudes for unique descriptions (however beautifully phrased), instead of deeply personal truths.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the 'shop talk' of farming that the book offered. Much of what she describes, and describes well, will be very familiar to people who have worked on a small scale organic farming operation. I found myself laughing and sighing at what was very recognizable.
Occasionally a detail is thrown into the story that to me didn't quite resonate with the rest of the character of the book - a few of her musings and memories felt gratuitous, undeveloped, or incongruous with what I found relatable about the author. Perhaps this was in part because of the 'one year' format of the book, edited for space. I would have appreciated fewer lovely vignettes in exchange for deeper reflection on the inevitable, sometimes heartbreaking compromises and conflicts that farming can push one up against. There certainly are enough how-to books out there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My family grew up in the Midwest around farms but we weren't farmers. I used to dream of owning my own sheep, goats, a cow or two and at least 3 horses. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Lainee
I loved this book until I got to the end. The last chapter seemed to be rushed and kind of forced. Almost like she ran out of time or just didn't want to do it anymore. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jm
This is a really well-written and fun book. My friend and I read it aloud to one-another while living apart. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Theresa C. Arico
I love this book so much!! Have read it 5 times and never tire of reading about this couple. It inspired me to chase my dreams!Published 1 month ago by Ruth Ruddock
This is one of those books that sucks you in. Once you realize this, the book is almost over. Great writer.Published 2 months ago by S. Bock
A New York city freelance travel writer falls in love with a hyperactive, bull headed and ridiculously optimistic farmer/gourmet cook who dreams of living with only what he can get... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elizabeth FitzGerald
We live on a couple of acres, but due to water restrictions (and frankly, limited interest) don't do much beyond a few chickens and a garden. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carolyn
Loved it and read it through in 2 days, laughing my head off in many places as this modern-day Manhattan 30-something journalist falls in love with an eccentric young farmer,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Angelina