Several weeks ago, when Lorna Sixsmith asked me if I’d consider reviewing her first, self published book “Would you Marry a Farmer?” in a bloggers book tour, I hesitated slightly…
What if I didn’t like it? What if it sent me to sleep? What if I couldn’t find time to read it? (I have an ever-growing pile of books on my bedside table and haven’t finished any of them this year!) and what if it makes me wish I’d married a farmer???
I’ve known Lorna for some time now and really want her book to be a success. I’ve watched her journey from idea to crowdfunding to a full print run and she’s worked so hard to make it happen through all stages of its production, as well as continue to organise and run the rest of her life – I don’t know how she does it!!
As it happens, all of my worries were to prove unfounded. To address my time concerns, Lorna forwarded me a copy of the book in PDF format prior to it being sent to print, which I’ve been able to download to the Kindle app on my phone. This proved to be the best thing possible as it meant the book was always with me.
It also meant I could also read the book in the middle of the night without disturbing Mr G when my insomnia kicks in. Well that’s not strictly true…. I might not have disturbed him with my bedside lamp lighting up the bedroom at 3.30 am, but the shaking bed as I tried not to laugh too loudly might have! The way Lorna describes a sprint across fields chasing cattle, clutching trousers tightly to prevent them falling down, or running with one arm firmly planted across chest to prevent boobs bouncing in all directions, caused a few chortles and recognition from my own attempts at pig chasing!
Would You Marry A Farmer is split into five sections, beginning by guiding the reader through to the serious question of “Are Farmers A Good Catch?”, right through to “How to Stay Married to a Farmer” once you’ve made the decision that maybe they might be. Although this book isn’t an autobiography, it’s clear that Lorna’s own experience peppers the pages throughout and who better to write such a book, than a woman who’s happily married to a farmer, despite all the difficulties and obstacles that might entail (and of which she now shares).
This book isn’t just for women either. I’ve quoted paragraphs to Mr G throughout as he’s glanced over to me wondering what an earth I was chuckling about now. (I was reading the section on how to get a farmer to do some DIY and/or take a holiday.)
And it’s not just a book about dating or being married to a farmer. Living in rural Ireland as my family do, surrounded by cattle farms, both dairy and meat, we’ve been exposed to cows for the past fifteen years without actually knowing a thing about them. Our neighbours have assumed that we know what they’re talking about when they discuss their maidens or heifers or that we’re not scared witless when they ask us to stand in the road and stop their cattle heading off in the wrong direction. Now, thankfully, having read this book, I can nod in all the right places during conversations over tea or ale and politely say no if they’re moving young bulls 😉 Would You Marry a Farmer covers many aspects of farming a newbie might meet, from birth to herding to death – vital I would imagine if you’re serious about finding your own farmer and winning his mother around too!
The early pages are dotted with small ads that have appeared over the past century, placed by farmers in their quest for potential wives giving a fascinating insight into how life has changed over the years (thank goodness!!).
The later half of the book is full of anecdotes and experiences, many written with tongue firmly in cheek, but still sharing a clear love of the farmerette way of life.
Perhaps I’m biased (and I’ve tried very hard not to be), but I hadn’t expected the book to be so informative, for it to contain such an insight into Irish history and its rich traditions, or be quite so entertaining. I loved the illustrations drawn by Joanne Condon too which capture the essence of the book so well.
This book is for single and married folk, city or rural dwellers, men and women and would make a great read at any time of the year, though had I had it in my hand a couple of weeks ago when I was writing my Irish Gift Ideas for Christmas list, this book would most definitely have been in it.
Would You Marry A Farmer captures so much of what makes Ireland unique in a no-nonsense, honest to goodness fashion. If you’re looking to marry into the farming way of life or are just plain curious about what farmers do all day, you’ll be under no romantic illusions about this hard-working way of life once you’ve read the book.
How to get your hands on Would You Marry a Farmer?
If you’d like to order a copy of Would You Marry a Farmer, the easiest way is to order it online from her Irish Farmerette website. If you prefer not to do your shopping online, take a look at the Stockist page here.
Liam from Gotireland.com has a competition to win a copy on his review of the book here, and a couple more reviews are coming up this week if you’re not convinced by mine. Derbhile Dromey will be reviewing it tomorrow over at World of Writing.
Or, for your chance to win a copy now, you can leave a comment below.
All you have to do is mention whether you think a farming lifestyle is for you or not. The random draw will take place this coming Sunday, 8th December at 6.00 pm and Would You Marry a Farmer can be posted anywhere in the world!
Disclaimer: I’ve not been paid or bribed to write this post, though Lorna did give me a lovely mention in the acknowledgements which has in no way influenced my review (promise). I bought my own copy of the book via Lorna’s crowdfunding campaign.