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.
Sounds like a really sweet book….mmmh would I want the farming life, I am not so sure….Ill most certainly have to read this book first then let you know 😉
Hard work but entertaining by all accounts. Thanks for the comment Joanne, you’re in the draw!
thanks Dee – I have to admit that when Brian was proofreading it for me and if he laughed, I was demanding to know what he found funny as I’d got to the stage I was so close to it I couldn’t see the humour any more 😉 I’m delighted to hear that you seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, found it funny and also that you enjoyed the historical aspects. Many thanks for taking part in the book tour, much appreciated xx
You’re more than welcome Lorna, thankfully it was a good read lol! It’s also got me back into the reading vibe again so I should thank you for that really, perhaps the pile of books will start to reduce now. Best of luck with the book and looking forward to number two now 🙂 x
I would love a farming life for myself and my family – tho I’m not sure I would love getting up so early… 😉 Fingers crossed I’ll win the book!
Yes, I think I’d have to agree with you there, though love being in the countryside so that would likely make up for it. Best of luck Anna!
sounds great … would love to read it !!
Thanks Mary, you’re in the draw so fingers crossed 🙂
Im a recently married farmers wife…. but also a primary school teacher…so im not as involved as some…but maybe thats the way life is going?? I love the lifestyle during the summer tho…. looking forward to reading the book!
In that case I think you’ll love it Jennifer and will be able to relate to lots lol! Best of luck 🙂
Can’t wait to get my copy here isn the US. Especially since I am a farmers wife also. 🙂
Oh cool! Wonder how similar the farming lifestyles are Keri? Best of luck 🙂
Congratulations Keri, You’re the lucky winner!
I would love to win this book to give to my sons girlfriend. We are farmers and her feeback might let me know if she is fit for the demanding job !
Grinning away here Heather as there’s lots in the book about the farmers mum too :)) best of luck!
We have free range chickens, a substantial garden, 2 border collies, and an old house on a mountain top in western Oregon. There is always something amusing (I say this tongue in cheek) happening. I am sure my husband and I could relate. I spent my early years traipsing all over the Midwest with my father, an investigator for the US Dept of Agriculture. Now I work in the wholesale nursery industry which many farmers in Oregon diversified into. Finally, my husband, children, and I lived in Ireland for almost a year and we loved visiting farms, manor houses, and nurseries. I would love to receive a free copy of your book. I would be able to put in my lending library with friends and family as well!
Maren your place sounds just like mine! What an interesting way to grow up too. Fingers crossed for you, you’re in the draw 🙂
Growing up next to a small farm,the lifestyle and goings on have always been dear to my heart. I would marry a farmer in a heartbeat! I’d love a copy of your book! Hey,it might even help me find a farmer of my own! :.))
Lisa-Marie, you never know! There’s a handy section in there on where to look out for them and what to wear that might attract them 😉
I’m not sure whether it would be for me – I love the Irish the rural life itself, but, being a vegan, I don’t like the kettle/meat part of being a farmer. If it was “only” for growing organic fruit and veg, that’s a different story altogether, of course!
I’d love to win the copy of the book, then I would have a Christmas gift for my wife – maybe luck is on my side this time – and your review makes me want to read it myself as well, thanks for that!
It sounds like a very good book anyway, might have something to do with the first name, the books of “the other Lorna” (Byrne) are very good to, so we might be up to something here…
Marcel I’ll be passing it to my husband now I’m finished reading it and I hope you’ll enjoy it too if you get hold of a copy (maybe the one from this giveaway if you win!) I know exactly what you mean about the meat side of farming. Having reared out first two pigs this year it’s caused all sorts of moral and personal dilemmas that I wasn’t quite expecting!
Fantastic review Dee. I grew up surrounded by various types of farms and have great memories of days spent on them. Like Lorna I was often seen sprinting across the fields chasing cattle but in my case I never had to hold my arm firmly across my chest!! :)) I remember chasing them through the bog field one day. My foot got firmly stuck in the muck and because I was in such a hurry I didn’t realise until it was too late….. with the next step and my bare foot was squelching in the muck and my wellington was standing proudly behind me!
Mary that really made me laugh! You’re in the draw 🙂
I’m married to a farmer and the advice I was always given by other farming women, was to never put foot in the milking parlour as if I did, he would be able to go away for the whole day and never come home. As the one who put the bread and butter on the table by working outside the home, that was never going to happen, but I do the farm accounts & I enjoyed virtually castrating calves. Now our daughter is getting married to a farmer next year and on her year out, she worked on mega farms in Australia, where she calved down 100 calves a day! & tube fed them, something I would never have done. So I suppose a farming lifestyle is for me with the plus of having a place in the country that I can do with as I like with, as an Artist I have lots of doors to paint! Though having to conform to reps and paint the sheds green is sad. Would love the book for my daughter.
I’m sure I recall reading that advice in the book too Carmel! Best of luck, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it.
I can imagine that it had been pretty tough (though it was tougher for the pigs…), given how smart and quite a personality they are. However, I did not intend to start that discussion here, even though I would argue that pigs aren’t a necessity for self-sufficiency ;o)
Marcel I missed the bit about you being vegan. My sister is too and fully supportive of our lifestyle. I don’t generally enter into discussions about it either as it’s such a passionate and personal decision 🙂
Sounds like a Brilliant read. As tough as it is being a farmers wife during sileage,calfing etc I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s great bringing up my two boys on a farm as they learn so much about animals and nature and love being outdoors.
That’s a lovely comment Sandra, good luck!
And the winner is….. Keri! Thanks so much to everyone for entering, I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments x Click here to see the video draw:
Congratulations to Keri, even though I’m a bit jealous =)
Thank you everyone for entering and I really enjoyed reading your comments too. I loved Carmel’s comment about not stepping foot inside a milking parlour, my dad didn’t want his daughters milking cows as he felt women had enough to be doing feeding calves and keeping the men fed. He didn’t approve of men going to the mart and the pub and leaving women to do all the work 😉
Many thanks again Dee for the lovely review, really appreciate it xx
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