What it is:
Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love is a mostly-autobiographical story of Jessie K, a New York City magazine editor, who leaves her life of Manhattan parties and hot yoga for a chicken farm in Virginia when she marries the cowboy she falls in love with.
Who wrote it:
Jessie Knadler, a writer who worked for top women's magazines in New York before leaving for Virginia. She's written freelance articles for many prominent publications and also has a cookbook, Tart and Sweet, which was the only preserving book to make the top 25 cookbooks of 2011 list from the NY Times. She blogs here.
Honestly, I didn't like this book all that much, probably because I can't really relate at all to the lifestyle Jessie K is living at the beginning of the story. But she's undeniably likeable and funny from the start, even if you don't agree with her choices.
As the story went on, I liked and even admired Jessie K more and more. The story of her relationship with her husband, her attempts to fit in, and her exploration of her true identity and interests were all captivating. As a "for-real" Christian from the Midwest, it was funny to hear how someone unfamiliar with the subculture I've grown up in might view it. As a cautionary note, this book is definitely NOT for kids or teens. She mentions drug and alcohol use, casual and premarital sex, and porn, and curses fairly often at the beginning of the book. I thought the author did a pretty good job of not pushing her values on anyone else, but the references may still be shocking to some readers. Part of the story is her faith journey as essentially an atheist marrying a Christian and trying to explore whether she may someday "play for the Christian team"...but she doesn't yet, and as such, she doesn't exactly follow Christian standards for non-sinful behavior. If that bothers you to read about, don't read the book. Surprisingly though, I liked the book despite all that. At the end of the book, I felt like, if I lived in the same town as her, I could definitely be friends with Jessie K.
The Bottom Line:
Rurally Screwed is a gutsy, well-written, funny, entertaining book that I think most women would enjoy.
To win your own free copy of Rurally Screwed, leave a comment below by Midnight on May 5th telling me the most unusual thing you've canned or preserved--or eaten after a friend (or stranger at the farmer's market) did. I think for me, it'd be deer meat from a deer my little brother killed. We ate it in tacos, like Jessie K and Jake in the book, and in chili. It was actually super yummy!
For extra entries, do any of the following and leave a seperate comment for each thing you do:
- Follow me on Twitter as @CrunchyConMom
- Follow Jessie K on Twitter as @RurallyScrewed
- Tweet something like this: "I can't wait to read the new book @RurallyScrewed! I hope I win it from @CrunchyConMom's #giveaway here: http://goo.gl/Jd06k" up to once each day (comment each time you tweet it!)
- Visit Jessie's blog and leave a thoughtful comment on one of her blog posts and tell me which one you commented on. (once only)
- Leave a thoughtful comment on another of my blog posts and tell me which one. (once only)
I'll use Random.org to choose a winner. Continental US only due to shipping restrictions. If I don't hear back from the winner within 48 hours of e-mailing them, I'll pick a new winner
Thank you to Berkley books (part of the Penguin book group), Jessie K's publisher, for providing both me and the giveaway winner with free copies of the book. I received no compensation other than the book.