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Publisher's Summary

Anne-Marie Oomen uses a wealth of vivid language and personal details to bring scenes from her childhood on a family farm to life in House of Fields. Yet the focus of this book shifts away from the daily activities of the farm, which Oomen presented in Pulling Down the Barn, to life outside its boundaries, as she explores the complex meaning of "education" in all of its rural forms. Oomen's description of the farmhouse where she grew up becomes the central image for this collection of essays. Within this context, Oomen examines memories from her formal education, which began during the final years of the one-room school era then shifted to the "consolidated" schools of the late 1950s and 1960s and to a parochial school system. Struggles with reading, first friendships, early loves, and contradictory educational models are coupled with the challenges of coming of age and the ups and downs of an emotional education between mother and daughter.

Winner of the Michigan Notable Book Awards. The book is published by Wayne State University Press.

©2006 Wayne State University Press (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Anne-Marie Oomen brings not only the past, its people and domestic mythologies, to life in this brilliant book, but she brings life to the landscape, the seasons, and the very walls that contained them. A kind of travelogue of the spirit and an ode to the miracle of memory, this is memoir to the highest power." (Laura Kasischke, author of The Life Before Her Eyes and Suspicious River)
"In House of Fields, every moment is considered, consistent, built in the way that the old Dutch masters built their paintings: layer by layer, achieving, at last, a luminous warmth found only in glimpses during the course of our daily lives." (A. Manette Ansay, author of Vinegar Hill and Limbo)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • EP
  • Walnut Creek, CA United States
  • 03-12-16

A Rural Education

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This audiobook started off a little slow for me (except for the chicken coop, dynamite story), I was pleased when the narrator transitioned to the educational/schooling aspect of the story-that is when I felt the story became more interesting and personally relevant. I thought the author did a great job describing what it feels like for a kid who is struggling to read in the midst of those who seem to take it for granted (I know because I experienced the same thing, although admittedly under very different conditions; people and circumstances may change, but some experiences are universal, apparently). At any rate, I enjoyed this audiobook because the author/ narrator did a good job transporting me to a place and time that was very different from what I experienced, yet which I could also relate to.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Story!

I don’t usually read many books from this genre, but I really enjoyed this one. The narration brought the story to life and held my interest throughout. The story was well thought out, complete and will keep you listening. I will be watching for this author in the future.

* I was provided a free copy of this book from AudioBookBlast for an honest review.

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too short!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, and I have already. Reading and writing came very easily for me so it was really interesting to listen to someone who struggled with it and obviously overcame it. Her descriptions of her childhood were very introspective but not so much that I ever got the feeling she was re-interpreting childhood thoughts with adult thoughts. I also loved the role certain words played in her young life. Very thought-full book.

What other book might you compare House of Fields: Memories of a Rural Education to and why?

Eudora Welty's biography. I think seeing through a writer's childhood 'eyes' is fascinating.

Which character – as performed by Sally Martin – was your favorite?

The main character, of course.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was in a HORRIBLE mood when I started listening to this book, which really should have doomed it outright. Yet it managed to seep through my darkness and left me a bit cheerier.

Any additional comments?

I just wish it were longer. I felt a little cheated that it just ended!
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

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House of Fields: Memories of a Rural Education

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."



A book of memories from the author's childhood. This was quite interesting.


The narration was well done,

0 of 1 people found this review helpful