Posted by: Kate | October 12, 2011

Book Review: The Dirty Life

(I am on a real reading binge right now, but only a few are making it to review stage. I can’t keep up with them otherwise!)

The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball, is a story of courage. At least, that’s how I read it. Kimball is a freelance writer who interviews a farmer for an article, and jumps into a new life. The book chronicles her meeting the farmer and the subsequent first year of their relationship as they start a farm, from scratch. The farm is ambitious and over-achieving and ridiculously challenging, and Kimball is honest as she takes the reader on the crazy journey. Knowing that the farm, and the relationship, are still going strong helps as you read about the “doomed to fail” plans and attempts.

Essex Farm,  a full-service CSA (members receive their entire food needs from the one farm, including meat, dairy, vegetables, herbs, maple syrup and more), is an experiment that worked (it’s now in its 8th year, with 150 members) thanks to the drive of its founders. This book is a delight (she is an excellent writer) to read and also a story of inspiring people who are really everyday, full of quirks and annoyances and gifts, people. It was their ability to leap into the unknown that so intrigues me. How do some people leap, while others look over the edge and decide to retreat to safety?

This book is a quick read, and one I heartily recommend. It’s entertaining, interesting and perhaps inspiring (or maybe you’ll think she’s crazy, but either way it’s entertaining!).


  1. oh wow kate – this sounds fascinating! definitely going on my to-read list!

    how do you find so many amazing books?!!?

  2. I have this book but sort of forgot I have it. Thanks for the review and the reminder. I will move it up towards the top of my reading queue.

  3. Does this book ever sound like one that I’ve got to read!! Thanks, Kate, for your review. I’d really love to become involed with the Essex Farm, is it Canadian by chance?

  4. Already on my ‘to read’ list in Goodreads! Thanks for the review…it sounds like a great book! One thing about the field is that I get a chance to read more…especially in the fall when it gets dark earlier at night. Some good ones I’ve read recently are ‘The Book Thief’, ‘The Great House’, and ‘The Sparrow’ (the last one I was leery of because it’s a cross of sci-fi and religion…neither of which interest me…but it was fascinating with amazing character development). Currently reading ‘Monsters of Templeton’ and though odd and strange, I’m definitely drawn into the story!

    Keep the reviews coming!

  5. […] in vein to the book I reviewed last year, The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball, this story is laced with humour and mishap. There the comparisons end, […]

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