The Pioneer Woman cracked open an opportunity in publishing big enough to create its own sub-genre: the memoir of a woman on the land. I’m not being facetious here; Ree Drummond’s blog about her life on the ranch, cooking working, raising her children struck a chord with hundreds of thousands of readers. It paved the way for a number of memoirs that don’t so much imitate The Pioneer Woman as create their own unique take on the American romance with life on the land. Michigander Mardi Jo Link’s Bootstrapper was an example earlier in the year.
And now Suzanne McMinn brings a West Virginian turn on the story with her memoir of achieving financial and emotional independence. Based on her popular blog of the same name (check it out at http://chickensintheroad.com), this feisty, funny memoir integrates the same successful formula her blog does—it mixes recipes, photos, crafts with storytelling that us laced with an infectious pragmatism and humor.
The book will have a handsome two color design and a color insert. Advance reviews are good and the initial media includes Elle and O, the Oprah magazine.
A romance writer propelled by divorce to change her bearings radically found her road to self-realization much rockier than she imagined, but ultimately very satisfying…as she delineates in her heart-on-her-sleeve, nutty narrative, she had to face the necessity for her own self-sufficiency…In this enjoyable memoir, she learned by trial and error how to do everything from scratch.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Writing with the keen attention to detail of the seasoned author she is…[McMinn’s] honesty is matched only by her desire to both take full responsibility for her failures and share the glow of her successes. The recipes and craft how-to’s provided at the end of the book open the door for all readers, experienced or green, to get a little taste of country life.”
Lively, whimsical….Fans of McMinn’s long-running blog will be glad to see that her memoir includes a selection of old-fashioned recipes as well as down-home craft projects (e.g., chocolate cream facial mask and apple spice simmering potpourri). The work has poignant moments, too, as McMinn outlines the trials and tribulations of adjusting to new routines without her old companions to join her; this ultimately paves the way for an epiphany or two.”
— Library Journal
Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor (9780062223708) by Suzanne McMinn. $28.99 hardcover. 10/15/13 on sale.