Bootstrapper : From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm

3.5 (2,899 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.5 (2,899 ratings by Goodreads)

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Poignant, irreverent, and hilarious: a memoir about survival and self-discovery, by an indomitable woman who never loses sight of what matters most.
It's the summer of 2005, and Mardi Jo Link's dream of living the simple life has unraveled into debt, heartbreak, and perpetually ragged cuticles. She and her husband of nineteen years have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce. More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt. Armed with an unfailing sense of humor and three resolute accomplices, Link confronts blizzards and foxes, learns about Zen divorce and the best way to butcher a hog, dominates a zucchini-growing contest and wins a year's supply of local bread, masters the art of bargain cooking, wrangles rampaging poultry, and withstands any blow to her pride in order to preserve the life she wants.
With an infectious optimism that would put Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to shame and a deep appreciation of the natural world, Link tells the story of how, over the course of one long year, she holds on to her sons, saves the farm from foreclosure, and finds her way back to a life of richness and meaning on the land she loves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 257 pages
  • 138 x 231 x 26mm | 426g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0307596915
  • 9780307596918
  • 2,969,122

Review quote

Advance Praise for Mardi Jo Link's "Bootstrapper"

"A heroic-comic saga of single motherhood, pure stubbornness, and the loyalty of three young sons. And more than that, an honest account of the working poor, the people who buy day-old bread, patronize libraries, rarely go to movies, and don't need your sympathy. Just a break now and then."
--Garrison Keillor

"As a writer and mother, Mardi Jo Link is a true force of nature. This lovely, lyrical memoir of family, farm and faith is as stunningly unforgettable as a Lake Michigan sunset."
--Wade Rouse, author of "At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream"

"In "Bootstrapper", memoirist Mardi Jo Link harvests the fruitful moments from her hardscrabble experiences as a single mother and offers up a near endless bounty of vital humor and vivacious humanity. Just you wait, Dear Reader. This book will make a home inside your heart."
--Jon Pineda, author of "Sleep in Me"
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About Mardi Jo Link

Mardi Jo Linkis the author of "When Evil Came to Good Hart "(2008) and "Isadore's Secret "(2009), winner of the Michigan Notable Book Award. She lives with her family on a small farm in northern Michigan.
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Rating details

3.5 out of 5 stars
- 2,899 ratings
5 15% (448)
4 36% (1,055)
3 34% (982)
2 11% (332)
1 3% (82)
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