Book Concierge's Reviews > Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting

Coop by Michael  Perry
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Apr 03, 12

Read in March, 2012 — I own a copy

This is the third of Michael Perry’s memoirs that I’ve read. In this volume he relates the early years of his marriage and efforts to establish his small family on a farmstead in Northern Wisconsin – growing much of their own food by raising chickens and pigs, and planting a good-size vegetable garden.

Perry is a humorist and a philosopher. His memoirs aren’t particularly linear, though they are revealed in a fair approximation of chronological order. He goes off on tangents, ruminating about the joys and difficulties of the rural life he’s chosen. He can be hilariously funny, especially when poking fun at himself and his efforts to provide for his family as a farmer. He doesn’t sugarcoat the life of a farmer, but he elevates it, as when he relates his daughter’s sheer joy at holding that first, still-warm, brown egg from their own chickens, or recalling a father and son stopping to enjoy the stars on their way back to the house from the barn.

His descriptions on the growth and development of his children are priceless. Who can possibly out-think a six-year-old determined to get a horse? Or reason with a teething infant? Or answer those BIG questions that would stump any genius?

Just as with his other works, I find myself laughing out loud, and also crying in empathy. I hope he keeps writing for a long time. (His daughters may think otherwise, but I am really looking forward to hearing about his years as the father of teenage girls…)
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