Fine. I’ll admit it. This is a book that my husband bought for himself, having become a fan of Sharon Astyk’s online writings. We were traveling, and I had finished MY book (Jill Connor Browne’s The Sweet Potato Queens’ 1st Big-Ass Novel; really a fine piece of comedy and I highly recommend it), and I was hyperventilating since I’m one of those nerds who NEEDS reading material close to hand at
“Here” said my husband; “I think this will be interesting.”
Keep in mind that what my husband reads and comprehends and what I read and comprehend are generally not even in the same bookstore, much less on the same shelf.
The first chapter of Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front by Sharon Astyk had me hiding under my chair in tears and with a tummy ache. Really.
Luckily, I’m also one of those people who must finish a started book, no matter how dismal, how incomprehensible, or how stupid it is. Normally this has me setting the book ablaze after the last word, and cursing whoever gave me it/told me to read it.
I say luckily, because after the initial assault on my sanity and meager hold on a sense of security for my family, this one is a keeper.
Sharon talks about where our lives are headed, in our current economy. And though we, and most of our friends, are striving for rural living, Sharon talks us through the Way Things Could Be from an urban/suburban perspective.
No matter… issues like health care, family relationships, community, small-scale gardening and food production, energy conservation (or elimination for the need of excess energy usage), are going to be pressing concerns for us all.
And to make up for the first frightening pages, Sharon is positive enough to not only end on a good note (that a changed world will not necessarily be a bad world), but
Because I don’t want to just HEAR about my world changing, I want to DO something, to know I’m providing for my family the best I can.
But the best thing about this book is that it’s not written by some professor, or some economist, or some career environmentalist (although they all have their place, and have valuable knowledge to share).
Sharon Astyk is a mom. She’s a wife. And she’s admittedly human. When asked how she Does It All—wife, mother, writer, small farmer—she gives an answer that’s so familiar to me personally, “If I look at what I didn’t do, at the mess, the chaos, the exhaustion, the failures, it doesn’t look so hot. So I try not to look, and hope
This is a woman I could easily call ”friend”. You can buy a copy of Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front by Sharon Astyk on Amazon.