It seems like ages since I read this book, I’m way behind on book posts. This is a book which I bought on the internet, not my favourite way of getting books but I was never going to come across this one in a local secondhand bookshop, so needs must. It was after I enjoyed reading Four Hedges by Clare Leighton that I decided to see what elese was available. This one is only illustrated by Clare Leighton, the author Bertha Damon, an American, wrote lots of books in the same vein I think. The blurb says: This book is for everyone who has ever lived in the country anywhere, who has a hankering to live in the country, and who likes his (sic) reading to be punctuated with laughter.
The first chapter is titled Our Neck of the Woods and the place is New Hampshire, not a place I have ever been to but I’m reliably informed that people are a bit weird around there, from someone who should know – no names, I’m not a clype! (tell-tale) and I have no wish to put my informant in danger from irate New Hampshirers, or whatever they call themselves.
Bertha Damon is ably helped in her gardening/farming by Samule, her – I suppose you would call him a handyman or odd man might be more apt. Damon herself is not a native of the state and Samule shows her how to tap trees for their maple syrup, amongst many other rural pursuits.
I suppose it’s an American version of Beverley Nichols’ gardening books and is an enjoyable look back to around 1947 when it was first published. As I only bought the book because I wanted to admire the 6 colour prints by Clare Leighton which it contains, it was a wee bit of a bonus that the book was worth reading too. It probably wouldn’t be of interest to anyone not interested in gardening and rural life of years gone by. Her most famous book is – Grandma Called It Carnal.
The above woodcut illustration is my favourite from the book. I quite fancy moving into that wee house.