The Woefield Poultry Collective

In this novel by Susan Juby, a 20-something New Yorker inherits a rundown farm and struggles to protect it from foreclosure.

Susan Juby

Woefield Farm is a sprawling thirty acres of scrub land, complete with dilapidated buildings and one half-sheared, lonely sheep named Bertie. It's "run" — in the loosest possible sense of the word — by Prudence Burns, an energetic, well-intentioned 20-something New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, but without an iota of related skills or experience. Prudence, who inherited the farm from her uncle, soon discovers that the bank is about to foreclose on Woefield Farm, which means that she has to turn things around, fast. But fear not! She'll be assisted by Earl, a spry 70-something, banjo-playing foreman with a distrust of newfangled ideas and a substantial family secret; Seth, the alcoholic, celebrity-blogging boy-next-door who hasn't left the house since a scandal with his high school drama teacher; and Sara Spratt, a highly organized 11-year-old looking for a home for her prize-winning chickens, including one particularly randy fellow soon to be christened Alec Baldwin. (From Harper Perennial)

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From the book

I don't know about you, but for me there came the moment during every visit to the farmers' market when I wanted more. I wanted to be the one standing behind the folding table, a truck of organic produce at my back, displaying my heirloom tomatoes and baby potatoes. I want to be the one handing over glossy sheaves of swiss chard at a reasonable price and talking knowledgably about my mushroom patch. The one looking cold and somewhat chapped about the face and hands, yet more alive than anyone else in the unfashionable rubber boots and dirty pants. Obviously, I had no desire to be the one in the lace-edged bonnet accompanied by a stern-faced, black-hatted man and a brood of six children. I want to be that other person at the farmers' market. The one with ideals and produce to sell.

From The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby ©2011. Published by HarperPerennial.

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Novelist Susan Juby talks about three of her favourite books in the genre. 9:31