Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love Hardcover – October 12, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
At times the author's voice veers from humility to a sort of eco-pious braggadocio -- that inconsistency makes me think she hadn't quite found her comfort zone within the diverse roles that small scale family farming places one in. But it is her story, and she does tell it for the most part in a self-deprecating tone that I enjoyed. It's a fun look at her transition from city to country. I certainly respect all of the skills she managed to gain in one short year, and the time it took her to write the book while trying to raise a small child and continue to run her farm. Never having tried to put my own experience down in a book - it's easy to be a critic. And when you run a farm -- it can be like living in a fishbowl, so perhaps the emotional omissions are deliberate.
Definitely worth reading!