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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea Paperback – April 24, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

When divorce takes [Goldhammer] . . . to a honky-tonk town with a preteen daughter and six chickens in tow, there is no still life! Only deeply felt, humorous, and, at last, happy life. (More magazine)

About the Author

Catherine Goldhammer is a graduate of Goddard College and was a poetry fellow in the fine arts program at the University of Massachusetts. She has been published in the Georgia Review and the Ohio Review.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288485
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
In her fifties and beginning to think of what she will do during her golden years, Catherine Goldhammer instead finds herself obtaining a divorce albeit an amiable one from her husband. The immediate impact is being economically poorer and raising their twelve years old daughter by herself. She relocates from affluent suburbia with her offspring to a fixer upper New England cottage that came with six two-day old chicks. Catherine bought the house and the chicks with the former for her and the latter to occupy her daughter. This terrific insightful memoir reflects the year she adjusted all cylinders of her life starting with raising the chickens and renovating a dump that the two female Goldhammers loosely called home. In the process she also repaired a broken psyche. Her fears especially for her daughter, her joy over minuscule successes, and her euphoria that the hard work starting with the bribery chickens that saved her soul make for inspired reading.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was adorable and wonderful and completely up my alley as I have raised chickens for 20 years and know all too well what is entailed in raising them. This could not have been a cuter or sweeter story. Held my attention from beginning to end! I won't delete this one off my kindle on my iphone as I know I will read it again and again!
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Format: Paperback
My book group agrees, this was pretty light. If you're looking for an easy read after a more intense book, this is fine.
We follow the author in transitions - post-(amicable)divorce, adjusting teenage daughter, downsizing her house, and embarking on what it takes to keep 6 chickens through all this over the course of a year that includes a cold, snowy Boston winter.

There's not a lot below the surface.....
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THIS IS ONE CUTE FUNNY, HILARIOUS BOOK. I COULDN'T STOP LAUGHING AND I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN I LOVE IT SO LIGHTHEARTED AND HILARIOUS A REAL PAGE TURNER. BUY THIS LITTLE BOOK YOU WILL LOVE EVERY WORD OF IT.
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I enjoyed the book. It combined my love for chickens, divorce plans from my husband, and my teenage daughter as personal links to the author's story. Well written overall, and it is always comforting to read a book that has such strong connections to your life.
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I love this book, it is touching and funny. She lost everything that she thought was important like her husband, expensive home, beautiful neighborhood and material items. When her husband left she started out with her daughter and nothing else. They found a small home in a bad neighborhood and bought chickens to give her daughter something to make her happy. They both grew to appreciate one another and the simple life. The funny things that happened with the chickens were so good that I almost wanted chickens also.
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Format: Paperback
This is a quiet book, do not expect excitement or revelations. The author is lucky enough to have an amicable divorce and, while left "poor" enough to have to sell off her big house in an upscale neighborhood, she then has plenty of money to hire repairmen to renovate her new neglected cottage with the beautiful big view. This is a story of the mundane details of living in a work-in-progress and raising some chickens, but the author is a good writer and gives a lovely sense of place out on the wild Northeast coast and a good-natured review of the trials of living in the midst of repair with a somewhat eccentric teen. I especially loved her chickens and learned a great deal about their care. Anyone dreaming of life with chickens should read this before buying. I found this to be a pleasant read about starting a new life, but thought the chickens, the scenery and the weather were the best part.
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Format: Paperback
An author really goes out on a limb when presenting her life to others, warts and all (mixing cliches galore here, something the author does not do ... :) I've read memoirs in which the writer's portrayal of her bohemian youth, precocious daughter, and post-divorce "struggles" were irritating beyond belief because they seemed like so much preening. Somehow, this writer manages to avoid these pitfalls. I suppose it's because she sounds amused about her formerly bohemian self; amused, besotted by, and puzzled, by turns, by her daughter, who seems to represent all that is weird and wonderful about kids in general and is not presented as "isn't my daughter just the most special thing?"; and not self-pitying about her current situation (she is quite good about pointing out her failings and not making it sound like she is the most hard-pressed, struggling person on Earth).

I thought this book was a well-done little memoir, a good sharing-of-stories that you'd enjoy if you spent a weekend together. I liked the sense of humor, the amusing insights into chicken personality and human personality, the sharing of kindness among neighbors, and the strong sense of place as well as the exploration of the emotions one experiences when leaving one home/life for another.
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