And now her father has totally lost it. When Tim Decker signs up his family of three to be contestants on a Hollywood reality show, Brooke’s life turns upside down. The place: The North Carolina backcountry. The year: 1861.
Brooke is forced to trade in her Victoria’s Secret bra for a rib-cracking corset, her comfy jeans for an ugly farm dress, and her private bathroom for an outhouse. Television cameras will follow her every move as she lives the grueling life of a mid-nineteenth-century farm girl: milking a cow, churning butter, fetching water countless times a day, and riding in a horse-drawn wagon along a rutted road to spend pennies in town.
This will be Brooke’s life for four awful months. Unless, of course, she breaks the rules and the producers kick her off the show…
Other families are scattered throughout Sweet Sugar Gap. The snotty Prudence Miller soon becomes Brooke’s rival. Wendell Murphy, who works at the local mercantile, is instantly smitten with Brooke—but also makes her suspicious. Does the only cute boy in town really like her, or is he merely showing off for the cameras?
Brooke Decker may just have to find a way to make it in the backcountry, leaving behind the modern frills she can’t live without. But can a young girl’s wishful heart surrender to a time and place she believes she can never call home?
I'd highly recommend you just get this book and read it for yourself, because I could go on and on about how amazing it is. I'm actually going to re-read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books because of it. I'm reading "Little House in the Big Woods" right now and it's a throwback to the days my mom would read to me as a child.
I mean, this was my review (five stars... duh): When you finish a wonderful book, trying to describe it can be difficult, because all you're so overwhelmed by everything it was, all you want to do is shout "THIS IS SOO GOOD!! READ IT!!" And this was one of those books for me. I couldn't put it down, and it's one of those special books that keeps you thinking long after you finish the last page. Beautifully written, with fully developed characters, and a setting so well-researched I felt I was learning about the time period in the most enjoyable way. Highly recommended!
So, you get the point. Now for the rambling thoughts part that makes this a Wednesday Word blog:
What it really got me thinking about was modern problems that we’ve created by creating all of these modern solutions. We have all these things around us to make our lives “easier,” but in doing so, we’ve bumped up the pace of the world around us. Now there’s more to be done, because everything has to move faster. Now we have more opportunities to be this or that in terms of ambition and career, but less time to just be.
It made me wonder how many modern solutions to our problems are only necessary because of modern problems. Like, I can’t sleep without a mouth guard, but why am I grinding my teeth to begin with? I need my migraine pills, but why do I keep getting migraines? Brooke in the beginning of the story doesn’t want to go without make-up, because she has acne. But by the end, after going without make-up for four months, her skin is glowing.
I appreciate the technology we have today, and the fact that we have so many opportunities and choices. But we're constantly bombarded with questions of what to be and what to do next, and if we're not reaching higher and higher we're basically wasting our lives. I mean, Brooke's probably going to have a tougher time adjusting to the modern world again. Sure, it's hard work to live with no modern tech. But it's interesting to think about how we've complicated our lives in attempt to make them easier. Now we can do more, so we should. I remember watching TV when I was little, and watching commercials about things that would help adults do things faster, because they knew how "busy" people were. I couldn't help wondering, busy with what? And if we kept doing things faster and faster, wouldn't that just leave us with more time to invent even more to do?
So, as you can see, this book is one that leaves you thinking long after you close it, and I'd highly recommend you give it a try.