Flat Broke with Two Goats

A Memoir
Narrated by: Pam Ward
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (173 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jennifer McGaha never expected to own a goat named Merle. Or to be setting Merle up on dates and naming his doeling Merlene. She didn't expect to be buying organic yogurt for her chickens. She never thought she would be pulling camouflage carpet off her ceiling or rescuing opossums from her barn and calling it "date night." Most importantly, Jennifer never thought she would only have $4.57 in her bank account.

When Jennifer discovered that she and her husband owed back taxes - a lot of back taxes - her world changed. Now desperate to save money, they foreclosed on their beloved suburban home and moved their family to a 100-year-old cabin in a North Carolina holler. Soon enough, Jennifer's life began to more closely resemble the lives of her Appalachian ancestors than the life she experienced in her middle class upbringing. But what started as a last-ditch effort to settle debts became a journey that revealed both the joys and challenges of living close to the land.

Told with bold wit, unflinching honesty, and a firm foot in the traditions of Appalachia, Flat Broke with Two Goats blends stories of homesteading with the journey of two people rediscovering the true meaning of home.

©2018 Jennifer McGaha (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

" Flat Broke with Two Goats is a funny, moving and unflinchingly honest reckoning. This sweet miracle of a memoir tells the story of a struggling couple who have to lose their house, and just about everything else, to find home." (Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was Mine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth reading

My Book Club chose this book because the title implied it would be funny. There is nothing funny about this book. She is a self-absorbed woman who blames all her problems on others. Really? The lady who sold them a goat was to blame because they didn't know anything about goats? And her friend that owned the house she defaulted on and lived in for several more months and then sledge hammered the garage to get the rest of their stuff, is to blame for them losing the house and "not being a good friend"? And she takes a four hour bike ride and come home and yells at her husband (who works 6 days a week and cuts firewood) that she doesn't have hot water? Maybe instead of a four hour bike ride, she could have cut firewood. Or looked for another job. Yikes. Worse, the reader is quite a fine reader, but not the right one for this book. This is a book about being proud of Appalachia. Those of us in Appalachia know how to pronounce it. At least someone could have given the reader the right way to say it. (Flatlanders say it is Apal ASHUN..... mountain people say Apple-ATCHA) . What a difference it would have been to have had a rich, Appalachian dialect reading these words. If you want to know all the details about goat care and breeding, read the book. If not, don't bother.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Flat Broke with Two Goats

Loved this book! True transformation from a slick, shallow city girl forced to try again in the country after losing it all in the city. She becomes a competent, self sufficient woman but not without a LOT of troubles and trials! Inspirational!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

it is a good book

I love the book it is good book I love it is amazing it is fun

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Aaaargh!

It was written well and the narrator was good, but I found the narrative infuriating. On a few occasions, I would start to feel sympathy for the author but then the next statement would annoy me to no end. Well, that is not true because the book, blessedly, did end.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good yet lacking

I was very disappointed in the abrupt ending felt unfinished.
Would've liked more human depth less goat mating details.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A comic tale of the economic bust

I enjoyed learning the life lessons of scaling back, facing your marriage and financial situations head on through the humorous and somewhat awkward way of the narrator. Homesteading wouldn't be for me, but the way its portrayed in the book, makes me think I would try for a weekend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully Beautiful

I had thought this was an educational book on Goats. I ended up being both a grat story and Educational to boot. Very nice. Narrator did a great job.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Story and Lessons

I loved the story told through this memoir. There’s highs and lows, and just enough humor to always keep me smiling. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the reader’s style but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of listening. Overall, a wonderful, inspiring, feel-good read.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Mehhhhh

Just never became all that compelling or sympathetic. Also, there were way more than two goats.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A story of a holler with no howls of laughter.

I expected/hoped for a tale told with wry humor, but while this memoir was nicely crafted and often lyrically painted a picture of life in a fixer upper in an Appalachian holler, the story invoked exactly zero howls of laughter.