Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Home to Woefield

Summary: Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep. But the bank is about to foreclose, so Prudence must turn things around fast! Fortunately she'll have help from Earl, her banjo-playing foreman with a family secret; Seth, the neighbor who hasn't left the house since a high school scandal; and Sara Spratt, an eleven-year-old who's looking for a home for her prize-winning chickens. 

Home to Woefield is about learning how to take on a challenge, face your fears, and find friendship in the most unlikely of places. -- Harper

I admit that I first was attracted to HOME TO WOEFIELD by Susan Juby because of the cover. I have never considered myself to be a huge chicken fan, but there's just something about that little bird that made me want to pick up this book. Of course, the blurb on the cover from Meg Cabot didn't hurt either. But in reality, it was the overall story itself that drew me in. I just adore books with quirky characters that embody the true meaning of friendship.

I found HOME TO WOEFIELD to be a delightful story. It is a relatively quick read and I found it to be funny (sometimes hilarious) and at the same time, heartwarming. While I could never in a million years imagine leaving New York City to live on (and work) a run-down farm, I loved that Prudence embraced her decision to make a go of things. In some ways, I thought Prudence was living in la-la land (and it did provide for some comic relief), however, I actually ended up respecting her hard work and eternal optimism.

But it was her supporting cast at the farm that really charmed my heart. There is no doubt that each of Prudence's "helpers" were a bit odd in their own way, but I prefer to think of them as rather interesting and eventually downright lovable. In fact, Woefield Farm kind of reminded me a little bit of the Land of Misfit Toys. One character was a crotchety old farmer who had some family baggage, while another one was a hair band groupie who also happened to be a recluse with a drinking problem. There was also a very sweet young girl who wanted to find a home for her chickens while at the same time escape from her troubled family home. This might sound silly, but I thought Woefield Farm fit right in as another character in this book. The characters and the farm were all a bit damaged, and just needed a little tender loving care to blossom!

HOME TO WOEFIELD was just an entertaining book that also warmed my heart. As I mentioned earlier, I love books about unlikely friendships, and there is no doubt that, at its very essence, HOME TO WOEFIELD showed the importance of the support of friends. In addition, I really appreciated some of the other themes that the characters embodied including standing up to a challenge, going outside one's comfort zone, and staying true to what one believes. It was because of these sweet messages that this book gave me the warm fuzzies!

HOME TO WOEFIELD would make a fun book club pick. There is a reading guide available which explores some of the topics I mentioned above. In addition, your group might want to talk about the definition of family, abuse, addiction, fear, assumptions, values versus opinions, forgiveness, redemption, and the role of satire in this novel. There are quite a few things to discuss, plus you could serve some dishes made with local ingredients.

One more thing: Book Club Girl is hosting a BlogTalk Radio show with Susan Juby on April 5th at 7:00 ET. I am excited to say that I will be participating in this show and I have a few questions that I'm anxious to ask the author. It's not too late for you to read this charming book in preparation for the radio show! You can set a reminder for the show here.

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this novel.

11 comments:

Diana said...

Great review thanks. The story and characters sound wonderful. I'm adding this to my Plan to Read list. :)

Beth S. said...

I agree with you that the cover is delightfully charming. It's definitely what attracted me to putting it on my TBR pile.

Beth Hoffman said...

This sounds like a fun read. Terrific review, Julie!

Happy Weekend.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm not a chicken fan either! LOL

Karlie said...

I love the cover too (despite my deep fear of birds)! I can't wait to read this one.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Well, I love anything with a little charmer like that on the front :)

bermudaonion said...

I thought this book was great fun too! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

heyiwanttoreadthat.com said...

Terrific review. This is next for me to read and I'm really looking forward to it. And your right the cover is wonderful. I would say I'm not a chicken fan but my daughter and I have spent the last week or so watching chickens hatch online. We've become "sort-of" chick fans.

Marie said...

Great review! I loved this book, too.

Swapna said...

I can't wait to get to this one - great review!

ruthhill74 said...

I want to thank you for bringing this book to my attention. This sounds like a great book, and though not at my library, it is on my TBR list!