REVIEW: On Brassard’s Farm by Daniel Hecht
On Brassard’s Farm by Daniel Hecht has all the elements I love, rambling along in its self-awareness with nature and hard work as its guide.
Ann reaches a point in life when she loses everything and everyone she loves in rapid succession. As her only living relative, her brother isn’t necessarily gone from this earth, but Ann has no idea where he is – he’s as lost as she feels. She begins to wonder if he’s alive.
With nothing to lose other than her inheritance, Ann buys 40 acres of wooded land from a dairy farmer. No longer able to make a living as a teacher, she’s without income, but doesn’t seem to obsess about it. When she makes a grave error, Ann indebts herself to this farmer. This begins her life as official manure mover and cow milker.
I was frustrated by wastrel Ann at first but fascinated with her situation. She pitches a tent on her newly acquired land, but makes no move to improve it, or grow anything to feed herself. I fully expected her to at least try to grow some vegetables or something.
Eventually, she improves her situation with a pseudo outhouse and an outdoor kitchen. But I’m still horrified that building some sort of structure to get through winter is never on her mind. Ann is troubled by her life so far, but I kept hoping she’d gain some survival instincts.
The farm and the people who work the farm become Ann’s family and salvation. None of it is easy or predictable, and some of it is too mystical to believe in the moment, but overall, I was enthralled by her journey to self-preservation, and eventually, love.
Living within the woods we discovered while camping, I could easily understand Ann’s love of the forest. It felt familiar, as if I was part of the book while enjoying my own little paradise, even though it was just for a week or two instead of Ann’s lifetime. I couldn’t have picked a better book to relax with during our quiet vacation.
On Brassard’s Farm is a great novel for those who love the land and its creatures. There are plenty of wildlife stories, people anecdotes, and farm wisdom to explore. I’m anxious to discover Daniel Hecht’s backlist and future endeavors. If you’re headed into the woods, On Brassard’s Farm is entertaining fireside reading. It made my homestead yearning grow.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy obtained through the publisher for an honest review.
On Brassard’s Farm by by Daniel Hecht
Category: Literary Fiction with Romance
Print Length: 406 pages
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing (April 3, 2018)
Rated 4 out of 5
Do you enjoy homesteading stories? Have you ever thought about living off the land?