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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: The Woefield Poultry Collective Susan Juby

Author: Susan Juby
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 336
Source: Arc from Publisher
Category: Canadian Fiction
Rating: 5/5


Prudence, is a “save the earth” kind of girl. She believes in wasting nothing. In her New York apartment, she practices composting, has installed solar panels-much to her landlords dismay and she uses chemical-free products. Her boyfriend can’t take it anymore and walks out of her life with worm soiled pants he trudges off and never looks back. Prudence is unsure of how she will make it in New York City alone, but she’s always the optimist. She’s a country girl at heart, and miraculously she inherits a farm from her uncle. Prudence is relived, excited, and exhilarated. In the eyes of Prudence, this is a dream come true. She packs up her belongings, and heads to Canada to live on Vancouver Island. When Prudence arrives at Woefield farm, she quickly realizes that this will not be an easy project. The farm has burned down, the house is covered in tarps, and the one lonely, depressed sheep is half-sheared. It quickly becomes clear that her uncle may have owned the farm, but he was far from a farmer. The bank has more surprises for Prudence, and it seems that Earl comes with the territory. Earl, hardly a handyman but a Woefield resident for 35 years. Prudence really wants to make a go of this farm, and she is determined to make it work. Within a few hours, Prudence acquires a new resident. Seth is a blogger, alcoholic, and social recluse. His mother has moved in her boyfriend, and Seth must go. He walks across the street, and asks Prudence for a place to stay. Prudence promises to give him a room, as long as he earns his stay. Seth and Prudence has different ideas on what this must be. When a strawberry mixer goes wrong, one thing positive turns up. Sarah, an 11 years old girl must move her chickens and her parents inquire if Prudence can keep the chickens at Woefield. A chicken coop is erected, a home-depot errand goes horribly wrong, and the bank must be stalled. Prudence’s optimism is put to the test and each character must depend on each other.

Overall Impression:

I loved “Woefield Poultry Collective!” Susan Juby has created a piece of literature like nothing I have ever read. Home to Woefield is original, and highly expressive. The story is told from four very diverse personalities. Each character is written in a clear, distinct, and memorial voice. Each character is familiar, mysterious and well-guarded. The cast of characters really captured me. Under normal circumstances these characters would probably never come together, however, life tends to have many obstacles and they must each deal with one another. Earl, Seth, Prudence and Sarah have a very unusual friendship, and an unusual bond. “Home to Woefield” is quirky, fun and poignant. Honestly, this one far surpassed my expectations. I wasn’t sure that to think of the title or the synopsis. I’m very proud to mention that Susan Juby is a Canadian author. “Home to Woefield” is hardly a simply novel, it’s full of emotions and aspirations, one that you will not want to put down.

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