Shelfari edited the description of Barnheart Thursday, July 21, 2011.
Whether they’re about raising chickens or herding sheep, the tales Jenna Woginrich tells in her books and on her blog have caught the imagination of thousands of young homesteading wannabes. As she learns traditional farming skills by trial and error, Woginrich records her offbeat observations and poignant moments with honesty, humility, and humor. In BarnHeart she lands at a small rented farm in Vermont, where she struggles to find her place in a reserved New England community filled with working farmers who are just scraping by and wealthy vacation-home owners who build fancy barns that never house any livestock. Woginrich — always the shy newcomer — explores her new surroundings with a friendly openness (and a ready fiddle) and finds a community of like-minded people who are keeping alive meaningful regional traditions. Although her barnheart — a term Woginrich coins to describe her state of longing for a farm of her own — never subsides, she makes do on her rented farmstead, building her herd of sheep, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, a goat, and a turkey, until relationships sour and she’s abruptly forced to leave. Where will she (and all her animals) go? Will she finally be able to afford the farm she’s always dreamed of? Even when dealing with cranky neighbors, small-town politics, and the loneliness that comes with running a farm on her own, Woginrich never loses her sense of humor. Readers will recognize themselves and find inspiration in this appealing story of longing and striving for a more authentic life.