Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale
Published: October 7th 2008 by NAL Trade
Format/Source: Signed paperback, Bought
At her husband’s prompting, suburban mom and New York career woman Susan McCorkindale agreed to give up her stressful six-figure job. Together, they headed down south to a 500-acre beef farm, and never looked back. Well, he didn’t look back. She did. A lot.
From playing ‘spot the religious billboard’ on the drive to rural Virginia, to adapting to a world without Starbucks, to planning bright-orange hunter-resistant wardrobes for the kids (“We moved here to get away from the madness of Manhattan only to risk getting popped on our own property?”), this is her hilarious account of how a city girl came to love, or at least tolerate, country life.
I bought this book about a year ago after meeting the author at a writers’ retreat in Middleburg, Virginia. I was quickly enamored by Ms. McCorkindale. She was funny, and had such great and honest advice to the rest of us aspiring authors, or in my case, aspiring marketing exec (one of my many answers to the question, what do you want to be when you grow up? I bought this book and she signed it in an amazingly personal way after she answered my questions about her former New York life.
I say all that because I feel extraordinarily guilty for not enjoying her book. I had read other reviews of the book and saw that they were mainly less than raving. I hoped that people were just being mean and that instead it would be a great read. However, I am disappointed. The book was spawned from emails that evolved into a blog that then became the book. I think as a blog I would have enjoyed the content much more. The various anecdotes did not really connect with one another; each chapter related her take on a single topic, theme, or event with great sarcasm and numerous footnotes. Perhaps it would have been better as a book read in small doses–a chapter here, a chapter there when you just want a little something to read or you’re waiting in line at the DMV. Reading it from cover to cover over a couple of days made it feel dull. There were only a couple of times I actually found myself laughing. Most of the time I was being interrupted by the footnotes, or wondering when Ms. McCorkindale would evolve to enjoy the farm life or move away from it. I think that at least at the very end there was some transition. But I am sad to admit that it was a tough journey getting to the end.
I had recommended this book as a potential read for a month of my Virginia Wine and Book Club. I meet with them this afternoon and I’m a little hesitant to see what they all thought of it. I will continue to follow Ms. McCorkindale on Facebook and on Goodreads, but I don’t believe that I will be picking up the sequel to this memoir.
My rating: 1/5