Jerry Delaney's Reviews > At Home with Myself: Stories from the Hills of Turkey Hollow

At Home with Myself by David Mixner
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

it was ok

I wanted to like this; really I did. I admire Mixner for his courage and his steadfast commitment to social justice. As far as I can tell, he's never taken the easy way out. That doesn't, however, make this book any good.
The book is not about politics or government or social causes - it is about moving to the country and learning to have your days determined by the seasons. It's about making time to observe nature and to make nature an important part of your day. I've read similar books and enjoyed them. They force me to imagine myself in that life - would i be serene? or bored? What am I missing by living in the city?
I didn't ask myself these questions while reading Mixner's book because it didn't feel real to me. The townspeople are all quaint and welcoming and friendly and the memories of childhood seem to be take from a Norman Rockwell painting. All the pies cooling on the windowsill, and the boys skinny dipping in the creek; the Bearded Lady at the county fair sideshow, and the family rocking on the front porch. I had to remind myself the scenes were from 1950s-60s New Jersey, not 1890s Missouri.

His reminiscences about famous people are not nuanced. These people were perfect in these chapters. None of us is perfect and it isn't disrespectful to describe why someone is a hero despite his human failings.
I wish I could say better things, but I honestly can't

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