Reviewed by Melynda Fuller
Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own
By Jenna Woginrich
At some point, every city-dweller utters the words, “I wish I could just move to the country and start a farm.” In her new memoir, writer Jenna Woginrich lays out that idyllic landscape found so often in the deep sighs of those who feel trapped by urban life. After a short stint as a homesteader in Idaho, Woginrich takes a job in rural Vermont, set on establishing the life of a farmer. With two dogs in tow, she drives across the country, ending up at the door of a small home she’d never seen, with just enough land to carry out the pastoral dreams she’d only begun to realize. She then goes on to perfectly illustrate a life lived with purpose. Where it would be assumed that the average 25-year-old would be caught up in career and relationship woes, we find a woman agonizing over chicken coops and becoming a shepherd with a flock and a sheepdog.
Woginrich’s voice is refreshing. (She begins one chapter: “When an old truck is considered a luxury purchase, you can safely assume I’m not a wealthy individual.”) She doesn’t romanticize her experience, preach, or simplify. As she deals with the variety of personalities you’d expect to encounter in a small Vermont town, or struggles to buy her first home—admitting that sometimes it is lonely to follow a dream without a partner to share in it—she does so with honesty, making her story relatable no matter the reader’s domestic circumstance.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.