Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Farm Girl by Karen Jones Gowen

A lot of you writers probably follow Karen Jones Gowen's wonderful blog.
She's such a sweet blog friend, always taking time to encourage and help aspiring authors -- and published authors, too. She is published twice, first with her debut FARM GIRL, and second with her novel UNCUT DIAMONDS.

I had wanted to read FARM GIRL for awhile because I'd heard it compared to the Little House books and I love the Little House books. I love reading history.
I knew FARM GIRL was a true account of Karen's mother's childhood on a farm in Nebraska. The subject intrigued me, so I ordered the book on Amazon.

I happened to order The Hunger Games trilogy at the same time. (You know, you've gotta love spending over a certain amount on Amazon, because sometimes you get free shipping.)

So, the box arrived with FARM GIRL and MOCKINGJAY both inside.

And guess what?

I went for FARM GIRL first.

And read the whole thing in a couple of days.
And read little bits of it to my husband at night when we were lying in bed.

Now Karen herself tells her readers in the introduction: this book isn't meant to read exactly like a novel, because it's a folklore study. Karen collected the information about her mother's life and then went about writing it in her mother's voice, most specifically her mother's farm girl voice. "The advantage to this book being told by Mother rather than written by her, is that when she recalls her early years, she talks like Lucille Marker the Nebraska farm girl...." (from the Introduction)

Karen's grandmother was an avid painter. The book also features many of her paintings and lots of old photographs of their family. It really is a delightful read and it was so interesting to dig into the lives of people who lived in another time and place, their attitudes and opinions, their hardships and triumphs.  

Karen, thank you for sharing your mother's wonderful story! I thoroughly enjoyed it.


  1. OMG When Karen reads this you're sure to make her the happiest woman in the world! Choosing her over Mockingjay! Wow! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I have my copy purchased and it is three away from being read, but it might be what I pick up this evening!!!

    She's a wonderful and carrying blogger! Love her to death!

  2. the hunger games trilogy...and you picked this over that. i too might have to pick up a copy!

  3. Sounds like an interesting read. Sometimes real life beats out the tension of fiction. :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jen is right, this does make me the happiest woman that you chose Farm Girl first. Others have told me as well that they like to read it before bed, as a way to relax from the stress of modern life. I love that you read bits to your husband. Thanks for a great review, Amy.

  5. Great review, Amy. I think writing about one's family members makes for an especially poignant read.

    Actually, this reminds me of Rick Bragg's ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN'. I really, really enjoyed that book. It is a beautiful dedication to his mother.

  6. What a great review! I don't know why I haven't read it yet. I plan to... Karen, it's on my TBR list!


  7. Sounds like a lovely read, but today I bought "Bog Child" (inspired by you!) so I have to read that first, but I'll keep this on my list.
    It's always lovely to get a personal recommendation for a good book, Amy.

  8. I've been meaning to read Farm Girl for a long time because it sounds just so beautiful. Right up my alley with the historical side too! :o)

    Thanks for sharing, Amy. How awesome that you chose Karen's book over Mockingjay! :o)


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