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Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love Hardcover – April 3, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Jessie Knadler's story about leaving the glossy office buildings and late nights of Manhattan to take a chance on love and create a new life in rural Lexington, Virginia sounds like something out of a movie. But as Rurally Screwed shows, the most unexpected life events and happiest endings—not to mention the hottest cowboys—don't just appear on the silver screen. Jessie takes a lively, self-deprecating yet thoughtful approach to her particular fish out of water tale. I laughed, winced and nodded my head in agreement more times than I can count. But most importantly, she shows that risks have their rewards, that it is possible to leave the worst of one's old life behind without abandoning the best of oneself." --Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com

“Jessie Knadler’s memoir, Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love, is more than a fast-paced ride through the rodeo scene of relationships from Manhattan to Montana, but an examination of American life, the things we take for granted, and the things we ought to cherish. Reading about Knadler’s search for inner peace helped this reader find some too.”--Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

“Hilarious, romantic, and real. Jessie Knadler’s writing made me feel every single emotion of her journey from the big city to the deep country—only I didn’t have to kill a single chicken or ride an actual horse. Although I may have fallen in love with her husband a little bit.”--Lara Naaman, Writer/Producer, Good Morning America

“At once brutally honest and over-the-top hilarious, Rurally Screwed is the most engaging and relatable book about marriage I've ever read. And I've read most of them. Knadler takes readers on a journey from her stalled life as a New York City single girl to the wilds of Virginia, where she settles down with a cowboy, eighty some chickens and a cellar stocked with moonshine. Along the way, she learns there's nothing romantic about chopping firewood and nothing easy about being married—but that after the sweat dries, the rewards of both are pretty awesome. Anyone who is married, has ever been married, or is considering one day getting married, has to read this book.”--Paula Szuchman, co-author of It's Not You, It's the Dishes

"This book is really a love story. It’s about falling for an unexpected person, learning to love a new place, and when life gets tough, figuring out what the heart really wants. I started out laughing and ended with a lump in my throat. And because the tale is told with such humor and searing honesty, you’ll grow so attached to Jessie and Jake, you’ll be tempted to move off the grid with them.” —Amy Spencer, author of Bright Side Up

About the Author

Jessie Knadler is a writer whose articles and stories have appeared in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Glamour. She is the coauthor of the preserving cookbook Tart and Sweet. Her blog rurallyscrewed.com has been featured in Newsweek and French Elle and on Jezebel.com. She lives with her husband, her daughter, and a bunch of chickens in Lexington, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425245683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually leave reviews because I generally agree with the consensus of other reviews. However, I think this book has a way too favorable overall review. The story started out okay. However, the second half was torturously slow. The main character was constantly whining about everything and not communicating her feelings to her husband. It was really frustrating to "watch" this woman with little or no self-awareness get in the way of her own happiness. The worst part is that in the end I don't think she ever really "got it". She seemed to be placated by circumstances and distracted from her feelings. I just don't think she ever reached the point of being comfortable in her skin the way her husband is. As a result the book was an uncomfortable and unsatisfying read. I am tired of reading about women with no sense of self who passively act as if they are victims of circumstance and fail to see their role in creating their problems.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased the Kindle version of this book on a whim. I knew that the author was a blogger, so I checked out her site. She seemed funny, quick, sarcastic and smart. I thought the book would provide for some light plane reading as I readied for a long trip. While the book is indeed witty, it is so much more. It really speaks to any woman who has made big changes in her life for a man and keeps looking back over her shoulder questioning herself, her decisions, her partner, her "new" life. The depths and insights in this book begin to unveil themselves in the final 50 pages. The book made me laugh for 100 pages, made me think (really hard) for 50 pages and made me cry for 20 pages or so. In the end, I felt that I could really relate to the author even though I reside in suburbia, have not ridden a horse since I was 10 and my gardening is limited to herbs on the patio. Mostly, this is a funny insightful book about life's big decisions, our changing identities as the years march on and how we can learn to accept ourselves at each stage.
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Format: Hardcover
I made myself plow through this book till the end--no pun intended--and with every page I kept asking myself,"what's keeping me from enjoying this book?" Well, the reason became pretty clear. The author may be too hard on herself. The book is intended to try and share her perspective on her radical shift in lifestyle with her reader, I get that. Problem is that she chose everything to which she was "subjected". Her misery was completely self imposed so the book comes across as one long whine. Trying to be generous, I kept reminding myself that from the start, the author did not describe a personality type that I would find it easy to click with. Her conviction that her thoughts, attitudes and values are completely superior to anyone else's became tiresome. There is never any real explanation of WHY the author feels she is so much more enlightened than every other character, just a giant ode to ego from page to page.I just couldn't like her and I couldn't get interested in what she thought about things and why she thought that way. It stayed that way until the very last chapter, actually the last HALF of the last chapter. That's when the writer allowed us to see a person with some values, and for the first time in the entire book, she became someone interesting to read. Reading the last chapter, I became intrigued. I wanted to know how a couple of scenarios would play out, her preparations for another life-changing event were engaging and I wanted to know how she would cope with some big challenges. I LIKED her and I don't understand why she waited til the last ten pages to show the reader someone who can capture our attention.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an autobiographical romance story where the girl gets what's coming to her, more or less, in the end.

So what happens when an unhappy girl from Montana moves to the big city? After 12 years climbing the ladder to her dream profession as a fashionista magazine editor she <quits/gets fired/dies on the vine - take your pick> and starts a freelance job interviewing cowboys in - you guessed it - Montana. So she leaves her aging friends and her pedophile New York architect boyfriend (I can't make this sort of stuff up) to appear at the rodeo in her sparkly sequined sneakers where she woos and wins the cowboy of her dreams.

What starts as a one night stand to get the taste of Lolita Boy out of her mouth turns into a marriage.

So is Prince Charming a frog? I'll give you a hint. He is real a cowboy, but he's from Virginia, having taken a job in Montana chasing his cowboy dreams. Despite their individual, collective, cultural and karmic warts they deserve one another.

Now, seriously, why did I give 3 stars instead of 1? This book does have solid writing which moves the story along; although it isn't a page turner it keeps the reader interested. The protagonist is shallow and self serving but she's not despicable and in the end she does learn something about both human nature and herself. Somewhere about the time that Jake goes on his first Army deployment she allows him to start looking like a person rather than a prop. And around the time she gets pregnant her own character changes; she seems to grow up a little and recognize her place in her world. I liked the ending and I do hope she continues to grow and prosper.
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