At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, by Franklin Sanders, is an interesting title for an interesting and fun read. The story is taken from a collection of letters that the author has written over the years for his newsletter, and this first volume gives a peek into his family’s life as they become (reluctant) farmers.
Even if you are not a farmer yourself, nor planning on becoming one, this book will probably have something to offer you somewhere in its 379 pages. One of his first stories is about how the family dog, bought as a puppy for $30, has to go to the vet for a broken bone and how it became a $400 dog. Later, the dog gets hurt again and the author good-naturedly relates how one questions at times how much a family can afford to spend on a pet.
Although the author’s style jumps around a bit for me (at times I was wondering how events were related to each other), I found his writing to be enjoyable and cheerful. Mr. Sanders certainly has a dry sense of humor that I appreciate, which is sprinkled liberally on almost every page. Throughout the book you can tell how important his family and nature are to him, and that is both refreshing and inspirational for me. Due to its conversational tone (although it even contains some snippets of Chaucer) you certainly feel that you are along beside him in his journey and it is easy to relate to the joys and sorrows their family experiences (check out the sample chapter).
As an added bonus, all of the chapters are short enough, at an average of 5 pages in length, that they can be easily squeezed in whenever you have a few minutes to spare (or kill). I wish that I would have asked for this title in e-book format because I think that it’s style lends itself perfectly to that medium. And, you have to love their guarantee: “If you don’t laugh, cry, gasp, hug your spouse or jump up and down, we’ll refund your money and you can keep the book to use as a door stop.”
Lastly, I feel like I need to mention that Mr. Sanders is from the South and his writing certainly reflects that (eg. the Civil War is known as the War for Southern Independence), but it is done in such a manner that only a very rare person (I hope) would be offended. But, I just wanted to let you know that if you don’t find Southern charm all that charming then you should definitely read the sample chapter before buying.
Price: $22.95 for paperback, $16.95 e-book format