Archive for May, 2011

Ten Miles Past Normal

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 by Anita

Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation—and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.

It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in “like” with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment.

– Summary from goodreads

People who know us well know my husband and I try to live simply.  We don’t live on a farm, but we grow a lot of our own food, try to live a low impact life, and make frugal decisions.  For a couple of years, I’ve been following a bunch of simple living blogs, and Jenna at Cold Antler Farm is one of my favorite bloggers.  So imagine my surprise and excitement to discover that Frances O’Roark Dowell’s new YA novel was inspired by Cold Antler?  Apparently Jenna was pretty surprised, too.  She was curious to find out more, understandably, and interviewed Frances to find out.