BOOTSTRAPPER by Mardi Jo Link
It’s the summer of 2005, and Mardi Link’s dream of living the simple life has unraveled.
She and her husband have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce.
More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt.
Armed with an unfailing sense of humor and her three sons, Link confronts blizzards and angry foxes, learns about Zen divorce and the best way to butcher a hog, dominates a zucchini-growing contest, wrangles rampaging poultry, and withstands every blow to her pride in order to preserve the life she longs for.
From the AudioFile Magazine review:
“White sounds by turns tough and tender, discouraged but never despairing. She captures Link’s strength and sense of humor in the face of the challenges she must overcome in the wake of her divorce.”
From the Bermudaonion’s Weblog review:
“Karen White does a fantastic job narrating the audio version of Bootstrapper – she was Link in my mind as I listened to this 8 and a half hour audio book. I recommend this book to those who enjoy memoirs.”
My recording experience:
Y’all know I am a fan of the “farmoir” (having come so very close to buying a goat farm myself before chickening out) and this one did not disappoint – Mardo Jo Link manages to bring to this burgeoning genre a generous dose of humor as well as pathos (folks, do NOT try this at home unless you know what you are doing!). Her voice is delightfully unique (she manages to combine poetic imagery with down-home swearing) but somehow when I sat down to record I felt like her voice fit mine like a second skin. (And with that bag of mixed metaphors, you see why I do not try the writing game at home, either.) This book was a blast to record, especially since I got to work with fabulous director Fred Sanders for the first time, who made the process even easier. A little bittersweet, since it was the last project I recorded at Random House West before our move back east, but if it was to be the last, I’m glad it was such a rewarding one.
Listen to a sample here: