4 out of 4 stars
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Ok, people, let's get this started! I know you must be wondering why a German city girl then a high school teacher moved to Ireland. I lived my life on the fast lane, had a classy home, and loved spending my evenings in a coffee shop: so what was I doing on an Irish farm?
Living The Organic Lifestyle was a big deal to my then-husband who was a CPA. We had a strong leniency toward the Green party and were concern about the deteriorating environmental conditions, especially after the nuclear disaster. Ireland became the land of his dreams, but I knew nothing about Ireland. As any supportive wife does, I stood by his side, but life turned out to be wholly unexpected. Farms in Ireland are alluringly beautiful, yet the lifestyle consists of never-ending work. We produced a variety of food while learning new skills to make a living. It can be somebody’s dream, but a nightmare for others: this is a memoir of a farmer’s ex-wife.
I Once Had a Farm in Ireland will give you a candid account about the story of a city family emigrating from their home country to the sticks of Ireland in search of a better life. Siggy Buckley exposes the utmost truth about farming life: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Written in the first person's perspective, it's a 236 pages read that consists of 78 short chapters plus an epilogue. Readers who have a keen interest in rural theme, country life, and an honest outlook will find this read refreshing.
Taking us back to the 1970s, Buckley relates the economical, political, and social issues that compelled them to leave Germany. Buckley noted historical references that took place in West Europe: the fall of Berlin Wall, religious conflicts between Protestants and Christians, Chernobyl's nuclear disaster, and the post-Cold War tensions. Readers can observe the vast cultural, weather, lifestyle diversity between Ireland and Germany. Readers who had direct, eye to eye, experience as Buckley will find themselves on equal grounds.
Using a direct communicational tone, Buckley welcomes her readers to be her prime witnesses throughout her life spent in Ireland. Buckley used Irish slang as a means of communicating the Irish culture, such as, my arse in parsley. Unlike a general memoir, it's an eloquent read that acts as a personal guide for farming which proves to be insightful. The first chapter, How It All Started, gives a brief synopsis about Buckley's life during her stay in Ireland. The follow-up chapters giveaway a more elaborate account on when, where, how and why. This read has its surprising moments and fair share of humor, such as,
This could be anyone's story from personal growth to awareness, that deserves 4 out of 4 stars. Buckley's effort to embrace change is admirable which doesn't come so easily to others. Its spot on, effective nature makes it easy for its readers to accumulate information on agriculture and farming: most advantageous read. Interestingly, readers can observe the farm's workload gradually overshadow Buckley's life indirectly losing her identity. It was an eye-opening reading experience that took its readers to a different era. I admire her effective writing style: her ability to give life to her words is evident, making it realistic. You may find the questions left as breadcrumb trails at the beginning answered by its suspenseful ending. Buckley was kind enough to include some of her organic gourmet recipes which were delightful. She recommends The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour as a bible for readers interested in farming.A neighbor brought us the new pup when it was about eight weeks old. We named her Brandy, “So, will the next one be called Whiskey?” (p.63)
I wish to exercise the importance of including a List of Contents: gives a proper layout and direction. It would have been a beautiful and heartwarming value-addition if Buckley could include pictures about her time spent in Ireland. I noted Buckley used the term produce over product in certain sentence which puzzled me, such as, "We produced our own food: grew every kind of produce you can think of "(p.. It's notable that this is a well-edited read, but contained minor typo errors. The message conveyed by Buckley to her readers:
******Don’t live somebody else’s dream! You can support someone you love but not to the point you deny yourself your own needs and dreams.
I once had a Farm in Ireland
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