In over his head with two pigs, a dozen chickens, and a baby due any minute, the acclaimed author of Truck: A Love Story gives us a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country.
Last seen sleeping off his wedding night in the back of a 1951 International Harvester pickup, Michael Perry is now living in a rickety Wisconsin farmhouse. Faced with 37 acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home, Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood - his city-bred parents took in more than 100 foster children while running a ramshackle dairy farm - for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father.
And when his daughter Amy starts asking about God, Perry is called upon to answer questions for which he's not quite prepared. He muses on his upbringing in an obscure fundamentalist Christian sect and weighs the long-lost faith of his childhood against the skeptical alternative ("You cannot toss your seven-year-old a copy of Being and Nothingness").
Whether Perry is recalling his childhood ("I first perceived my father as a farmer the night he drove home with a giant lactating Holstein tethered to the bumper of his Ford Falcon") or what it's like to be bitten in the butt while wrestling a pig ("two firsts in one day"), Coop is filled with the humor his readers have come to expect. But Perry also writes from the quieter corners of his heart, chronicling experiences as joyful as the birth of his child and as devastating as the death of a dear friend.
Alternately hilarious, tender, and as real as pigs in mud, Coop is suffused with a contemporary desire to reconnect with the Earth, with neighbors, with meaning...and with chickens.
©2009 Michael Perry (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I believe this book just wasn't for me. I was excited to begin this story because of my own interests in living a well-balanced life. I was distracted by the reading and could never get into the story, despite the numerous times I tried. I didn't care for the rambling and wanted there to be more of a story behind all the experiences.
As human-interest stories go, Michael Perry spins one engaging yarn after another. He leaves and returns to storylines in seemingly random fashion, only its more like a tapestry that you back away from and see the entirety of the picture rather than single thread strands.
Baxter Black is a fine story-teller. So is James Herriott. Perry combines wit and description into an insightful bowl of fun.
There are so many. He's hilarious with the chicken stories, home birth, and animal stories. And knowing what it means to have lost a child, the story of little Jake is a precious retelling of the bonding that happens when a child dies.
You won't be sorry this is in your library.
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