• Flat Broke with Two Goats

  • A Memoir
  • By: Jennifer McGaha
  • Narrated by: Pam Ward
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (238 ratings)

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Flat Broke with Two Goats  By  cover art

Flat Broke with Two Goats

By: Jennifer McGaha
Narrated by: Pam Ward
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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 listeners say about Flat Broke with Two Goats

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

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11 people 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.

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5 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!

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2 people found this helpful

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

A book about hardship

This is a woman's memoir about a struggling marriage, crippling debt, and being forced into an off grid cabin. The first half of the book is about her early life and what led to living in the cabin. The 2nd half is more about her raising the animals she required.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Caught Up In Unimportant Details

Overall, interesting enough to finish listening to the story, but too much detail in every aspect of milking, breeding, raising goats....I'm certain I could now be an expert! Also, the story was a bit disjointed in a few of her sad life experiences as a young adult, which could actually have been an entirely different book. Good sense of humor and unique life, though long winded about every detail of money problems.

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1 person 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

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1 person found this helpful

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

I loved this life challenge!

Aside from being a goat lover, and future owner of a small bucket list herd, I really enjoyed the animal part of this story, and the consequences of the author's financial hardship.
I have to hand it to her for sticking it out. For having been so justifiably hurt over it all, and in the midst of it -having to move down a few notches to a rustic (?) cabin. I have a feeling these animals coming into her life were what helped her to manage the financial and marital stresses. They were a better stress, for lack of a better phrase. Unconditional love, and pride in a job done with much love for her animals, is the best way to heal. Pondering and processing while caring for them is such a great way to sort things out.

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1 person found this helpful

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

An inspiring story

This beautifully crafted memoir is generous in life lessons that will inspire us all but especially those who may struggle with debt and poverty. The narrative is honest, friendly, and often humorous. A lovely read.

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1 person found this helpful

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

A Story About Finding Yourself

Great story; beginning to end. Love stories where we think we have our life planned out, or we have ideas about how it should be or could be, then we find ourselves living our best life in ways we could have never imagined.

I don’t understand the reviews about not liking the first part? That’s part of the story, and the bad stuff is where we find the good stuff

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Stop listening or don't even start.

I carefully chose this book after reading several reviews. Apparently I didn't scroll far enough to the realistic ones. You are somewhat lulled as you listen to the first hour or so of their financial woes and how they got there. Suddenly feels like it switches to a jarringly different book, as she describes her husband choking her and threatening to slice their 1st baby out of her stomach ! I was done after that. Nothing inspiring, uplifting, or funny at all at the end, justifies filling my head with those images.

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