Originally written more than 50 years ago, this book still delights. In 1934, Merrick and his wife bought a dilapidated farm where he planned to become a famous writer. The book describes how the Merrick family survived, through hard work, love of the land, and a good sense of humor. This is still one of the best evocations of the joys of living in the Vermont countryside.
— Northshire Staff
This is my favorite book about Vermont! Beautiful, simple and often humorous, the Merricks find beauty, challenge and ultimately true happiness in the simplicity of their country life. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! — Whitney Kaaz
In 1934, in the depths of the Great Depression, Elliott Merrick and his wife, Kate, bought a ramshackle farm on a Vermont hillside for $1,000. Merrick, a young writer with a healthy dose of idealism and a determination to live in the country, had just sold his first book. "I had an idea that I would be rich and famous henceforth," Merrick wrote, but added, "nothing could be farther from the truth . . . As I look back, I'm amazed that we could so blithely have crossed our great Rubicon on a spiderweb. But it turned out to be one of those fortunate mistakes-one of those fraught-with-peril enterprises that you might never have embarked on if you had known the consequences-like being born, for instance." This book describes Merrick's and his family's often haphazard attempts to make a go of it on these stony, wintry acres, in a house that was falling down around them. As Merrick puts it, "We did everything wrong, but it came out right." Through it all, they believed wholeheartedly in going directly after the things they wanted most: to write and to farm, however they could. A lyrical, funny, richly fulfilling tale about old houses, farming, writing, and the joys of country life, this book is as fresh today as when it was originally published more than half a century ago.