Monday, August 16, 2010

Coop by Michael Perry

Oh Michael Perry, how you make me want to live on a farm and have chillins'. That about sums Coop up for me, really and I could just leave it at that, but I won't. What a wonderful book this was, and what a surprise it was at that. Here's what I was expecting: Guy writing about living sustainably, growing his own food, living off the land, raising chickens, plowing the land, maybe repairing a tractor or know, farm stuff. Sort of like an Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but written by Michael Perry instead of Barbara Kingsolver. And I would've been perfectly happy with that to be honest. Here's what I got instead: Guy writing about his experiences of living in his father's shadow. Being a father and a husband and what those relationships mean to him. What he cherishes in each of those relationships. His relationship with the land around him and the beauty that surrounds him. His relationship with the animals that sustain him and the knowledge he gains in raising them. His relationship with the food he plants and harvests. The tools and the trade and the sweat and the labor and the experience- the love, the joy, the trials, the tribulations of living on a farm. His own farm with his own family and his own community, shadowed by his cumulative life experiences. It really turned out to be quite a beautiful book. There were moments that were simply meditative. That made me just sit back and almost join him as the sun set on his farm and be thankful for what I too have in my life. And there were moments that made me laugh aloud. Moments that made me share his sorrow too. What Coop is, is more of a memoir than a book of essays. And I think I went into it expecting more of an essay type book. But I'm glad with what I got. It's a slow moving book, but it's a nice type of slow. This is the first selection for Andi's new Bookclub Sandwich. Can't wait to see what the next selection is :D

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