Friday, January 14, 2011

Home to Woefield-Susan Juby

Home to Woefield
Susan Juby
Harper, Mar 8 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061995194

Having lived her entire life in Brooklyn, twenty-four year old Prudence is euphoric to inherit a farm in Canada from a relative she never met as working the land has been her dream.. Celebrity blogger alcoholic Seth lives at home as a recluse with his mom embarrassed by an incident involving the drama teacher at the school he attended. Septuagenarian Earl lives on Woefield farm whose owner just died; he is stunned that a no brains and all mouth inherited the spread.

Prudence decides to host a strawberry social. She asks Earl the grump who should come; he ignores her question. Seth’s mom tosses him out and suggests he asks the newcomer if he can stay with her. Shocked he does and even more shocking she says okay. Prudence worries about the farm’s debt. At the social, guests are excited that she is a published author though it is only one panned novel; they ask for paid lessons. Sally Spratt asks if her daughter Sara’s prized chickens can stay on the farm for a fee as the little girl is a member of the Jr. Poultry Fancier’s Club. The bank will not float a loan until Prudence mentions converting to a treatment center with Seth as her first patient; the loan officer agrees of her niece can attend. When Prudence learns Earl’s younger brother Merle is a famous bluegrass player she concocts a plan to rescue the farm and several lost souls including her own.

The key ensemble cast, especially the four prime players, is all developed while the rotation of viewpoint gels nicely together; filled with wry humor, readers see similar incidents through different eyes. Although there is a morality issue as no one is punished for misbehavior, fans will enjoy Brooklyn bringing to rural Canada compassionate chutzpah.

Harriet Klausner

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