File Size: 751 KB
Print Length: 274 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books (May 27, 2008)
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #268,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #15 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Technique > Propagation & Cultivation #112 in Books > Science & Math > Agricultural Sciences > Horticulture #123 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Rural
Have you ever noticed how the one thing that most attracts you to a person can end up being the thing that, in time, makes you absolutely crazy?Jeannie Ralston's friend Kim once told her "You're just not very adventurous." But any girl who was willing to move from Tennessee to New York, after landing an internship with McCall's magazine, must have had some longing for excitement lurking inside. From there, she carefully engineered a flourishing career as a freelance writer and, thanks to fashion editor Kim, a well-dressed one at that. When she was assigned to work with Robb Kendrick, a cute young photographer from National Geographic magazine, Jeannie got swept right off her Manolo Blahniks and into a life beyond her imagining.It began as a whirlwind of travel and excitement, where she might wake up on her thirtieth birthday and find her bikini-clad self on the cover of Travel + Leisure magazine. So how did she end up at age forty, living on a farm outside of Blanco, Texas, with work-roughened hands, aching back, and a husband who's rarely home? Ah, therein lies the story!When Robb first announced that he despised living in New York and wanted to move back to Texas, Jeannie felt sure he would come around eventually. However, she had no idea just how persistent and persuasive her new husband could be. Next thing she knew, they owned a house in Austin.Of course, that was just the beginning. Robb is an idea man, a man who needs to challenge himself with new projects. A man with itchy feet, enamored with the idea of being a pioneer. After Austin, he hit upon the notion of transforming an old stone barn near Blanco into their home.
The beginning 2/3rds of this book is not great but the last section about the lavender farm and how that evolved is quite interesting and makes it worth it.The weakness with the first part is the way she writes about her life in NY compared to Texas. I believe what she wanted to describe was the contrast between what she saw as a happy and exciting life in NY and the let down she felt losing that in the move to Texas.The problem is that she focuses not on what made her happy in NY per say but how much more glamorous and envy evoking her life was compared to the rest of the world outside of NY. I guess it is very hard to try to describe what you think is glamorous without sounding kind of bragging, like "wasn't my life just so great, don't I live big and don't you wish you were me" and as the reader I felt like, ah, no, it doesn't sound any more interesting than many people I know.For example, this is a quote from the book after she opens her farm to the public -'"It smells good," I'd tell them, trying to make sure my smile showed patience, not the condescension of a New Yorker who once met regularly with executives at beauty companies.' -- I mean this is what is going through her mind when she meets with people visiting her farm??? It's kind of comical like - you met regularly with beauty executives? wow, didn't you lead a fascinating life meeting such rarefied people. I mean does she think that people in Texas have have not done things, met interesting people and led an interesting life too??The other problem is her depiction of her husband - could he really be so unsupportive, so selfish? Why marry a guy like that and let him make all the choices, leaving such a successful and happy life?
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