Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: Fifty Acres and a Poodle (farm, humor)

Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm, by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Bantam Books, 2000, $23.95.

Fifty Acres is like a popular TV show or an excellent beach read. A TV show because you come to quickly love the character but can put the book down and come back to it, even in the middle of a chapter. Perhaps even a quick soap opera: quick in that the plot does advance more quickly than a real soap, and a good beach read because you will take it everywhere with you, hoping for a chance to read a page or two.

Fifty Acres is a good friend.

Author Jeanne Marie Laskas is a name I recognized from the Washington Post even though I am not a regular reader, being so far away. As a matter of fact, I may not read it even once a month, so, for me to recognize the name of a columnist, you know she has to be good.

Humor and pathos and humor and a Lithuanian aunt and humor and one’s ‘inner princess’ and humor and ‘the babes’ (sorry, they are just the women Laskas made friends with in college - and kept).

The book begins with farm hunting through the want-ads and proceeds to buying a tractor. 

The seasons change, the pets accumulate – another dog, a horse, a mule, . . . Fifty Acres was such an entertaining and inspiring read that I am going to get another of Laskas’ six books.

Oh, yeah, there is a poodle in the book, and a cat and a kitten. The poodle is seemingly out of place on the farm (neighbors have never even seen a real live poodle - or pet dog) until the dead groundhogs appear. I suppose the standard (i.e., big) poodle represents the author and her (finally) husband, seemingly out of place on a farm but still accepted.

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