Margaret Ann Spence Coming Home
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Home to Woefield

By Susan Juby

Harper Collins, 2011


From the time of the last recession comes this very funny book by an author who usually writes YA (Young Adult) fiction. The satire pumps it up to adult level. Prudence, an idealistic 24-year-old from Brooklyn, inherits a dilapidated farm on Vancouver Island.

She has dreams of growing enough produce to sell at a farmer’s market, but what she finds when she gets to the farm is a scrubby, rocky landscape, a half-shorn sheep, and Earl, a grumpy farmhand who can hardly nail two boards together. When Seth, the alcoholic blogger whose mother has thrown him out of the house, arrives looking for a place to stay in exchange for work, Prudence has her hands full. Then a bossy eleven- year- old demands they build a home for the chickens her parents insist she donate to someone else.

If you need a laugh-out loud book to enjoy in these dark times, this is it. Juby’s novel skewers the way we live now, yet the characters are rounded and even hapless Earl and lazy Seth are appealing. A scene describing shopping at Home Depot is worth buying this book for. I kept on reading, chapter after hilarious chapter, and didn’t want this book to end.

There’s a sequel. I’m buying that, too.