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October 15, 2019
Kristen Kimball moved from New York City to a little plot of land in the country to try out sustainable farming with her partner Mark. The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love is the book about that story, but Good Husbandry is the story of what comes after: financial troubles, weather challenges, problems in their marriage, and so much exhaustion.
I kind of love the idea of this—it’s like the next movie after the first romantic comedy ends. Like what really happens after you get your happily ever after, because marriage and life and work (especially farming) is rewarding but also tough. I actually loved Kimball’s point that we should be more honest about how tough marriage, parenting, and working can be. We talk about our lives like they are perfect, post about them on social media like everything is AMAZING! all the time. But it would probably make us all a lot happier if we could just give ourselves (and the next generation) permission to feel the less pleasant emotions, too: boredom, disappointment, anger, frustration, etc. Life has its ups and downs, but there’s still plenty of space for things to work out okay. No need to sugarcoat the rough stuff.
In the end, this was an interesting read. Kimball’s life is unique—maybe a little privileged-white-person-ish, but intriguing all the same. And I respect Kimball for choosing a slightly different path toward happiness via her lovely farm. Sounds like a really wonderful place.
Thank you to Amazon Vine and Scribner for the ARC!