Pulling Down the Barn eloquently recalls author Anne-Marie Oomen's personal journey as she discovers herself an outsider on her family farm located in western Michigan's Oceana County, in the township of Elbridge - a couple hundred acres in the middle of rural America. Written as a series of heartfelt interlocking narratives, this collection of essays portrays the realities of farm life: haying, picking asparagus and cherries, the machinery of tractors and pickers; but each chapter also touches upon the more ethereal and rarely articulated: the stoic love that permeates a family, the farmer's struggle with identity, and the way land can shape a childhood. With its rich language and style, Pulling Down the Barn engrosses the listener in Oomen's memories - setting beauty and wonder against work and loss - and paints a poignant portrait of growing up in rural Michigan.
Winner of the Michigan Notable Book Awards. The book is published by Wayne State University Press.
©2004 Wayne State University Press (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks
"Anne-Marie Oomen has written a perfect gem of a book: deceptively quiet, delicately structured, but with the enduring force, strength, and brilliance of a diamond." (A. Manette Ansay, author of Limbo and Vinegar Hill)
"Pulling Down the Barn is a vivid and magical work." (Barbara Hurd, author of Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling Through the Dark)
"Pulling Down the Barn is a wonderfully lyrical and evocative memoir." (Michael Steinberg, founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and author of Still Pitching: A Memoir)
Many interwoven short stories about growing up on a Michigan farm. The overall premise is good, but the tales sometimes ramble.
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.
“This audiobook was given by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
Thank God for books of all kinds and ears to hear
Insightful, beautiful hardships
Little House on the Prairie but more modern (and better writing)
Describing how her mother interrupts stories and figuring out why.
Yes. The anguish of The Tractor.
I loved this book and may re-listen again very soon. The narrator took some time getting use to (a bit slow and too careful with diction) but warmed up especially toward the end.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
I've been an avid reader my whole life, and have discovered the joy of having books read to me. I'm enjoying my audible membership.
No. The story rambled a lot and I had a hard time staying with it.
I like the descriptions of farm life, though some of the dangers the kids got into were hard to experience.
I like the way she voices the different characters.
Experience life growing up on a family farm.
A free copy of this audiobook was provided by the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
This is (as far as I can tell) a stand alone novel constructed of loosely connected essays.
Michelle Babb's performance makes listening to this book an enthralling and entertaining experience :)
This book was surreal. Listening to the way the girl thought and saw the world was a unique experience. I was caught up in the narrative and fully immersed even when I did not completely understand what the subject matter was :) I really enjoyed this experience!
***This title is suitable for listening(reading) by young adult through adult readers who enjoy historical fiction with a dash of fantasy :)
Mother of 5, Grandmother of 10, RN (retired!), Avid reader, enjoys sewing, knitting and cross-stitching.
Pulling Down the Barn is a wonderful memoir by Anne-Marie Oomen, a poet and playwright. Midwestern rural life in the late 1950s, early 1960s is the setting of this collection of remembrances of a young girl trying to find her place. Telling of harsh winters, times of harvesting--cherries, asparagus, apples, driving (and crashing) a tractor for the first time, Ms. Oomen brings a lyrical story to her readers. Each chapter pulls the reader into this country family and the myriad experiences of their life on the farm. Migrant workers, massive beehives in the wall of the house, rope-swinging in the barn are just a few of the nostalgic stories retold in the book. Michelle Babb does a remarkably enjoyable job of narrating the audiobook, with excellent inflection and intonation. Pulling Down the Barn is an enchanting account of life in a different and perhaps idyllic age.
Michelle Babb, yes. Anne-Marie Oomen not really
The book was a series of short stories so one would expect different topics. But within the story there was continual rambling that made the overall story difficult to follow.
The different voices for the multiple characters. Just when I think she can't come up with another voice, here comes the priest which is totally different. She also made the scenes when the children were in dangerous situations or hurt much more intense.
The actual childhood adventures were interesting and brought back many memories of my own childhood.
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