“This is perhaps the most beautifully written memoir I’ve ever read. Its lovely and languid descriptions of the picturesque valley, the farm and gardens are equaled only by the charming and funny descriptions of the antics (and conversations!) of the farm animals. What a joy this is to read. I didn’t rush through it because I found it such a peaceful way to de-stress when I needed to. I’d read a chapter or two, or even a few pages and feel calmed by the flowing language, which painted scenes of baby animals growing in verdant pastures, kids skating on the frozen winter pond, birds trilling summer songs and garden projects of all kinds. Mrs. Trissel, a farm wife in a setting that makes you want to move to the Shenandoah immediately, has an insightful way of weaving the world around her into a quilt of colors and patterns, scents and sounds. Her perspectives are delightful. She doesn’t gloss over the hardships, but takes in the joys with such depth all is tempered and balanced.
Mrs. Trissel has an amazing knowledge of flowers and plants and a sense of humor that had me laughing on many occasions. Whether accompanying her husband to the county fair, pouring over seed catalogues with her youngest daughter or rolling her eyes affectionately at her older daughter’s ballooning wedding plans, the reader feels part of that life. She has a fascinating background that is revealed in snippets here and there as offhandedly as plucking flowers in the many gardens on the farm. Both that background and her obvious knowledge of literature (lovely quotes included throughout) add depth to her day-to-day life which comes across to the reader.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ve read a lot of memoirs, but none so appealing as this one. Highly recommended.”