Bootstrapper From broke to badass on a northern Michigan farm

Mardi Link

Book - 2013

"[A] memoir of a mother who, after ending her nineteen-year marriage, staves off a perpetually empty bank account and, with the help of her three young sons, saves her century-old farmhouse from foreclosure, and reclaims her life on to what matters most"--Provided by publisher.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2013.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A memoir"--Jacket.
Physical Description
257 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780307596918
0307596915
Main Author
Mardi Link (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

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. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Separated from her soon-to-be ex-husband, Link (Isadore's Secret) is suddenly living the life of a homesteader. Through adversities and tight finances, and with humor and biting wit, Link chronicles her struggle to provide for her three sons and hang on to her little farmstead. When bills pile up, lucking into prize money from a zucchini contest turns out to be a major windfall. As the cold Michigan winter sets in, there is no money for the heating bill and the clan scrounges the roadsides for firewood, until the summer arrives when they can tend to their garden and rear a flock of chickens. The realities of living off the land, though, require determination, as "food gathering methods...deviate from a grocery store, a grocery cart, and a checkbook." Through it all, rather than becoming overwhelmed by desperate circumstances, Link perseveres. With resilience, resourcefulness, and plain stubbornness, she manages to hold everything together, all while keeping her family's pride and dignity intact. Her experience as a single parent will resonate with any single mom and her story of what it's like to raise your own food out of necessity serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who has ever romantically dreamed of "living the simple life." (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Separated from her soon-to-be ex-husband, Link (Isadore's Secret) is suddenly living the life of a homesteader. Through adversities and tight finances, and with humor and biting wit, Link chronicles her struggle to provide for her three sons and hang on to her little farmstead. When bills pile up, lucking into prize money from a zucchini contest turns out to be a major windfall. As the cold Michigan winter sets in, there is no money for the heating bill and the clan scrounges the roadsides for firewood, until the summer arrives when they can tend to their garden and rear a flock of chickens. The realities of living off the land, though, require determination, as "food gathering methods...deviate from a grocery store, a grocery cart, and a checkbook." Through it all, rather than becoming overwhelmed by desperate circumstances, Link perseveres. With resilience, resourcefulness, and plain stubbornness, she manages to hold everything together, all while keeping her family's pride and dignity intact. Her experience as a single parent will resonate with any single mom and her story of what it's like to raise your own food out of necessity serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who has ever romantically dreamed of "living the simple life." (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Describes how a resolve to save her financially strapped, century-old farmhouse in the aftermath of a divorce pitted the author and her three sons against such challenges as coyotes, rivals in a zucchini-growing contest and rampaging poultry."

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Poignant, irreverent, and hilarious: a memoir about survival and self-discovery, by an indomitable woman who never loses sight of what matters most.It’s the summer of 2005, and Mardi Jo Link’s dream of living the simple life has unraveled into debt, heartbreak, and perpetually ragged cuticles. She and her husband of nineteen years have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce. More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt. Armed with an unfailing sense of humor and three resolute accomplices, Link confronts blizzards and foxes, learns about Zen divorce and the best way to butcher a hog, dominates a zucchini-growing contest and wins a year’s supply of local bread, masters the art of bargain cooking, wrangles rampaging poultry, and withstands any blow to her pride in order to preserve the life she wants.With an infectious optimism that would put Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to shame and a deep appreciation of the natural world, Link tells the story of how, over the course of one long year, she holds on to her sons, saves the farm from foreclosure, and finds her way back to a life of richness and meaning on the land she loves.