Alison's Reviews > The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
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's review
Jun 13, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed The Dirty Life and read it in two days. I had a hard time understanding the inner transformation Kristin Kimball experienced, from city girl to farmer - or honestly, what she ever saw in her husband in the first place, since she paints him as an unsympathetic, crazy New Agish daydreamer - and that lack of depth would be enough to knock this book down another star, if she didn't do such a great job making me feel vividly both the difficulty and beauty of life on a farm (at least as much as paper and ink allow, which I am sure is really a pale shadow of reality) and the ability to make even an uncertain dream come true through sheer perseverance, in spite of almost complete ignorance and inexperience. The first half of the book is interesting, but she hits her stride about halfway through and there are some genuinely funny passages in the second half. Having just finished "Folks, This Ain't Normal," by Joel Salatin, I found myself wondering about the legality of the haphazard way Kimball and her husband started their CSA program, as well as wondering how they handled all the paperwork and red tape from the start of their farm, but that information wouldn't really fit in this book, as it's not a how-to manual, but more a contemplative memoir. If you've considered farming, just moving to the country, or making a radical life change of any sort, I highly recommend this book.
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