- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1St Edition edition (June 11, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307596915
- ISBN-13: 978-0307596918
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 11, 2013
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In a heart-wrenching, heartwarming, and invigorating memoir, author and farmer Link struggles following her divorce to hold on to the life she had built. Link is not, as her ex-husband had taunted, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, but she is resilient, resourceful, and determined in her efforts to save the farm and make a living for herself and her three sons. Although they are facing distressingly difficult times, they soldier on through calamities of all sizes, often finding unorthodox solutions to such unusual problems as a broken freezer that stores all their winter meat, an overly amorous rooster, and a Christmas tree utterly lacking in the proper equipment. Link’s pride in her sons and the life they have made shines throughout the book and is obviously well deserved. Neither sugarcoated nor wallowing in self-pity, Link’s storytelling is as tough, honest, and unyielding as one would expect from a Michigan farmer. Her account, told with humor and panache, of pulling oneself up after disappointment and loss will appeal to the bootstrapper in all of us. --Bridget Thoreson
Praise for Mardi Jo Link’s Bootstrapper
“Link’s story possesses that rare, elusive, but much sought-after feeling of authenticity . . . Glints with Link’s raw, willful energy.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A heroic-comic saga of single motherhood, pure stubbornness, and the loyalty of three young sons. And more than that, an honest account of the working poor, the people who buy day-old bread, patronize libraries, rarely go to movies, and don't need your sympathy. Just a break now and then.”
“Hilarious, wrenching and heartwarming, Link’s poignant memoir chronicles one woman’s determination to discover meaning and wholeness in the midst of brokenness. It’s almost as if Cheryl Strayed had stayed down on the farm instead of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.”
"Electric, candid . . . A country song of a memoir, complete with a broken-down truck named Cookie. It's great fun to listen to once, full blast."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Many memoirs about the trauma of divorce are available today, but none of them is as dynamic as Mardi Jo Link's fittingly titled Bootstrapper."
“You’ll fall in love with Mardi Jo Link’s family in this irreverent and heartwarming memoir depicting her heroic fight to hold on to her northern Michigan farm and the simple way of life she wants to preserve for her three young sons.”
“A potent cocktail of ingenuity and humor . . . about a mother’s fierce love and the sustaining fabric of family . . . Direct, funny, void of self-pity, and exceedingly humane.”
“Tough, honest, and appealing . . . will appeal to the bootstrapper in all of us.”
“Funny . . . honest . . . A tale of grit and determination . . . You can’t help but admire the ingenuity of this four-member team, each stepping up during one crisis or another.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Beautifully written . . . brutally honest . . . crystallizes the love, the struggles and the loneliness of a single mom.”
“Link’s hopes, dreams, triumphs, losses, and more are laid bare. But what shone through the brightest was the love for her sons . . . I couldn’t put Bootstrapper down—I was cheering Mardi Jo on with every chapter . . . These are the memoirs I like to read—real people, real life. And she sounds like the kind of person I’d like to visit with on the porch.”
—A Bookworm’s World
“Mardi Jo Link’s fierce love for her three sons oozes from every page of this ode to tenacity, honesty, authenticity, and creative survival skills . . . She’s always doggedly determined and funny—yes, unceasingly funny . . . Shed a tear or two and laugh out loud as you share the ride that is motherhood with this authentic woman who uses much more than just her boots to pull herself out of misery and insolvency into a life well lived.”
—Hungry for Good Books?
“Refreshingly powerful . . . Straight from the heart . . . [Link] speaks to the power of self-reliance, while entertaining readers with her tireless defiance and sheer badassery.”
“Irreverent yet poignant . . . humorous and heartwarming.”
—Traverse City Record-Eagle
“Intriguing . . . Hilarious . . . A fascinating look at Link’s family’s ability to persevere and use assorted, often creative innovations to succeed . . . Great summer reading.”
—Lansing State Journal
“Bootstrapper does what only a really good book can do . . . Maybe it’s because of Link’s faith in the future, the kind of self-reliance that puts most of us to shame, or just the enormity of the courage it took to keep her boys’ spirits up . . . but I rooted for her all the way through the book . . . Mardi Link is the woman we all hope we’d be if ever faced with the same trials, with boys to raise, and a new life to lead.”
“I love the author’s voice. Funny and self-deprecating, but also heartwarming and hopeful.”
“As a writer and mother, Mardi Jo Link is a true force of nature. This lovely, lyrical memoir of family, farm and faith is as stunningly unforgettable as a Lake Michigan sunset.”
—Wade Rouse, author of At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream
“In Bootstrapper, memoirist Mardi Jo Link harvests the fruitful moments from her hardscrabble experiences as a single mother and offers up a near endless bounty of vital humor and vivacious humanity. Just you wait, Dear Reader. This book will make a home inside your heart.”
—Jon Pineda, author of Sleep in Me
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Top customer reviews
I enjoyed the book a great deal, but also had the mistaken impression that it would be more about farming than it turned out to be. It is a very well written memoir of divorce and a mother's love for her sons. My sole quibble with the editing is that somehow in the kindle edition "gold-finch" became "gold-inch."
Well written -- and funny, too -- this inspiring book is a charmer and not to be missed, whether you live in suburbia or on a farm. I'll be recommending it to students in my memoir writing workshop. P.S. If you've ever been temped by dreams of moving to the country, you might want to read this one first. -- Cindy La Ferle