Review | The NYRB Book Club May 2017 | The Farm in the Green Mountains by Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer and translated by Ida H. Washington


farm.green.mountains_1024x1024One of the bookish subscription boxes I’ll be reviewing this year doesn’t actually involve a box, so I guess it’s just a bookish subscription. I’m talking about the New York Review Books Book Club.

The deal I signed up for included 12 books (one each month, you know) as well as a yearly subscription to The Paris Review (four copies in total). You can read my reviews of the books in my NYRB subscriptions so far and reviews of the Paris Review.

You guys, The Farm in the Green Mountains was just about the most charming non-fiction book I’ve ever read. It is an account of a woman and her family who were displaced from Germany during WWII. After a series of events, they find themselves as working farmers. These are not outdoorsy people – the husband is an author and the wife is an actress / medical student. So yes, lots of lots of hijinks all over the place.

The best part is that they all just kept such a positive attitude about the entire ridiculous situation. Everyone, including their two badass daughters, pitched in and worked hard to learn how to take care of a farm and animals and each other. Most of which they learned by reading about a billion pamphlets from the USDA, like this:

How to sell hens

Rating: 9/10 – Such a charming, uplifting story.

Recommended for: Non-fiction fans, fish-out-of-water fans, people who like books that have scenes in which goats kick drivers in the head.

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace test? N/A It was essentially a series of personal essays by the mother of the family so there wasn’t really an dialogue.

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / Y / Y

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