Book Review: The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

the dirty life kristen kimball

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball

Summary: The Dirty Life is, first and foremost, a memoir or an autobiography of a sort if you like. It details the events that caused an East End Manhattan girl to end up on a farm in Essex with a man she had just met and fallen in love with. She details how she went from being a pure city girl to a rough and tough farming woman. The book details the events leading up to the farm and the first year of the farm’s operation with an epilogue to fill in the in between before publication of the book.

My Thoughts: I’m gonna come right out and say, this book is flippin’ hilarious and I LOVED IT. I have never laughed so often while reading. I grew up in a farming community, but not on a farm, and I moved on early to gain higher education and live in a big city. So, this book was perfect for me. I could see how frustrating learning to farm was for Kristin, while also enjoying her city-esque humor and sarcasm. I could also understand the breadth of mistakes/tragedies that happened on the farm, while still feeling that unfamiliar sting that comes from not ever doing farm work. This is a serious must read for anyone making a transition in their life to something more rural as we are trying to do now.

I read this book in about 6 hours, if that. I COULD NOT put it down. It is written in a fascinating way that is full of imagery and allusions, while still being written simply enough for any person to read (although, I will say, her vocabulary can be quite vast in parts). I did notice that the beginning of the book, while she was still a city girl, is very cerebral and well thought out. Then, as she transitions into farm life, it becomes more simple and blunt, but wildly full of imagery that makes you feel like you’re right there on the farm with her.

There is also a corresponding blog to go with the book that has real-life updates on the farm and how things are going. You can even schedule a visit to their farm! You can read her blog here–> The Dirty Life Blog

Overall: 5 out of 5. Absolutely awesome book.


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