This slim volume tells the story of adjusting to life as a newly-single mother, with the aid of 6 chickens. Catherine Goldhammer's story is not only about chickens; it is also about finding one's inner strength, re-entering the workplace, and becoming independent.... though it is mostly about chickens.
Anyone who has kept chickens as pets will find this book to be laugh out loud funny. Her observations about chickens are right on, and as a new chicken mom I can relate to the chaos of raising baby chicks. I wonder if this book would be as appealing to a reader who does not have or like chickens - perhaps, but they'd likely miss much of the humor. Highly recommended for chicken keepers!
This book is a charming and quirky memoir. The author writes in a comical & at times sarcastic way & you'll find yourself chuckling along with her. I found myself looking forward to being able to sit down and read more of this tale!
As a backyard chicken mom myself- I understood just how Catherine' chickens gave her strength and brought her & her daughter through a very tramatic and stressful time.
Overall, this book is a fast, fun and touching read. There were only a few things I didn't like in this book. The comments where she was using Jesus' name in vain & when her daughter was bragging about how she was "agnostic" in front of a preacher when there was no call for this. I really didn't see how these comments added to this otherwise lovely book.
Marcia B. (kipper) reviewed Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea on
Helpful Score: 4
An adorable little book about a woman newly separated and starting over in a small cottage by the sea. While she moved world's away from her current home in a posh neighborhood on the East coast, in truth she moved only a mile away to a small run-down cottage in a workman's neighborhood. Six adorable baby chicks were purchcased in hopes of enticing her 12-year-old daughter to move with her -- the daughter who did not want to live in a grey house in a ramshackle neighborhood! The story progresses from there and the adventures she experiences with the chickens are priceless. In the end she realizes that the chickens helped make the transition for her and her daughter into a new life.
I've just finished the delightful, little Still Life with Chickens. Another sort of back to the land where a woman divorces (very amicably, so this isn't a theme), and she and her daughter move from a high-falutin' neighborhood to a tiny rambshackle cottage in the next town on a saltwater pond.
A quick read of her leaving one home while raising and building shelters for the chicks, to arriving at and renovating her new home, and raising and building shelters for the chickens. As one who used to raise fowl, her little details brought back a lot of happy times with those birds, fond memories of catching a wet, warm egg in my hand as it was laid, to cleaning pasty butt off the babies. Great tidbits of info about living on the ocean and a saltwater pond.
I really recommend this very light, happy read if you are not looking for whining and badmouthing!
I don't know much about chickens, other than that when I see them, esp. running about in a farmyard, I laugh. They're just funny creatures. And so when a copy of this book found its way into my hands, I chuckled at the title & thought, "Why not?" You could easily read this in one sitting, although in my case, I carried it around with me for quite a while, reading bits here & there during breaks in my workday. I loved this little gem of a memoir. I loved Catherine Goldhammer's writing style. I laughed. I learned about chickens. And I grew to appreciate the task of "starting over", as the author did. I'd highly recommend this to anyone.