Disclaimer: I read the author's blog, but I don't know him. Still, his writing there is delightful, so I was prepared to enjoy the book. I just wasn't prepared to enjoy it quite so much. I started it on my commute to work this morning, and finished it this evening, doing little else but read. The story hooked me, the characters are vivid and convincing, and the narrative structure pulled me right in. At first I paid a lot of attention to the dates provided, but fairly soon I felt grounded enough in the family's life to be able to place when things were happening - what seems a bit haphazard at first is anything but. The huge family, bound together by the dairy farm, unravels in an inevitable and real way after the death of the matriarch, who knew that "land, houses, and cows" - and money - would come between them. Her attempt to prevent that serves as the spark, and we get to know them all before we learn how it all ends. (Or maybe not "all".) This book is a joy to read.