Title: Home to Woefield
Author: Susan Juby
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Paperback: 320 pages
Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep. But the bank is about to foreclose, so Prudence must turn things around fast! Fortunately she’ll have help from Earl, her banjo-playing foreman with a family secret; Seth, the neighbor who hasn’t left the house since a high school scandal; and Sara Spratt, an eleven-year-old who’s looking for a home for her prize-winning chickens.
Home to Woefield is about learning how to take on a challenge, face your fears, and find friendship in the most unlikely of places.
Witty, charming, and utterly irresistible, Home to Woefield by Susan Juby is a remarkable story of four strangers and how one desolate 30-acre piece of land makes them a family of sorts. Prudence Burns has always wanted to live on a farm, she is beyond earth-conscious, and one day she learns she has inherited Woefield Farm from her Uncle and moves from Brooklyn to Vancouver Island, Canada. Prudence is easy going, optimistic and sees beauty and opportunity where others do not. Woefield is a desolate and dilapidated property with one half-sheared sheep because her Uncle Harold believed it too cruel to shear a sheep all at once. Earl, the handyman is used to life on Woefield and completely unprepared for Harold’s energetic and enthusiastic niece. Before Earl has time to adjust to Prudence, she is offering the neighbour, Seth, room and board for help around the farm. Seth knows absolutely nothing about farms and prefers to keep things that way. He enjoys maintaining his Hollywood Gossip blog and his Heavy Metal band blog. The fourth member of this group is 11-year-old Sara Spratt. She raises prize chickens and her parents asked Prudence if she could keep her chickens on the farm. Of the four of them, Sara appears to know the most about farming. Sara and Prudence are enthusiastic from the start while Earl and Seth are reluctantly dragged into the plans for Woefield Farm. All four characters narrate the book, each with their unique style and perspective, allowing the reader to feel as though they know each person quite well. Through Juby’s descriptive writing I had images of all four in my head straightaway. Prudence, Earl, Seth, and Sara work their way into the reader’s heart and through Juby’s expansive wit and creativity will have readers laughing out-loud. What begins as a dream for Prudence quickly turns into a way to save Woefield Farm and in doing so Prudence, Earl, Seth, and Sara grow, develop and find their inner strengths, battle their demons, while struggling to make things work on the farm. I absolutely adored this book and look forward to Juby’s next book. I would recommend Home to Woefield to any reader, although there is some language, but overall it flows with the character and did not, in my opinion, interfere with the reading of this quirky and endearing book.
Susan Juby’s young adult fiction has garnered tremendous acclaim: recognition as a Children’s Book Sense 76 Pick and ALA Best Book, nominations for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel award. Her trilogy about Alice MacLeod, beginning with Alice, I Think, was made into a television series of the same title that aired on CTV in Canada. This is her first adult novel. She lives in Vancouver Island, Canada.
Susan Juby will be on Blog Talk Radio with Book Club Girl on Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm ET.
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I received a complimentary copy of Home to Woefield by Susan Juby from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.