|Pages/Publication Date:||239 / 2014|
Following her hilarious book Mud Season (in which she told the story of that fateful day when she and her husband, having had such a wonderful time vacationing in Vermont, wondered aloud what living there would be like), Ellen Stimson here tells us how they set about raising kids in the paradise of this very small, very rural town. These are tales of parents with hopes and dreams, just trying to do their best, if not always succeeding. Imagine being the mom of the kid who peed on his teacher's chair—on purpose. Now imagine the governor asking you about it. Stimson's irrepressible optimism prevails as she, her husband, her ex, their three kids, and various pets face real life—and even death and grieving—with good humor intact.
"In Stimson's second delightful memoir, following Mud Season, she is no longer a fish out of water.... Instead, they have adjusted to life as adoptive Vermonters, scoring fresh milk from neighborhood cows and eggs from their very own chickens. This time around the focus is on family—kids Benjamin, Hannah, and Eli; ex-husband, Steve; and dogs too numerous to name—and the kinds of things that seem to blindside us all. Stimson makes great, entertaining reading out of kids' unusual dating selections, shark attacks, sudden illness, and even an untimely death. Entertaining? Yes. She has that particular way with words and storytelling that makes the most out of learning to deal with grief. All of life's moments are not amusing, some are downright terrifying, and others are laugh-out-loud funny, but Stimson comes through, in retrospect, with the goods to offer wisdom and a noteworthy perspective."—Booklist