Republic of Dirt

Republic of Dirt

A Return to Woefield Farm

Book - 2015
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"Prudence Burns is an overly idealistic Brooklyn girl who has inherited a derelict plot of land named Woefield Farm. Her motley crew of farm hands consists of Earl, an elderly, reclusive bluegrass legend; Seth, an agoraphobic heavy-metal blogger in early recovery from alcoholism; and Sara, an 11-year-old girl with a flock of elite show poultry. When Prudence is felled by a thyroid condition, things on the farm begin to fall apart, resulting in valiant and sometimes ill-advised attempts to restore domestic bliss. Efforts are complicated by a renegade mule, attempts to turn a hideously ugly child's playhouse into a high-yield roadside farm stand, and an electrical station's worth of crossed wires. Will Prudence get well? Will Seth finally get rid of his pesky virginity? Will Earl rescue Sara? And will anyone, ever, admit they might be wrong?"--
Publisher: Toronto : Harper Avenue, ©2015.
ISBN: 9781443423960
Characteristics: 402 pages ;,24 cm.


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Mar 30, 2019

It was nice to return to the characters and get some resolve for them, although I felt this book dragged on unlike it's prequel. Still very enjoyable to read!

SPL_AnneMarie Sep 19, 2017

Reviewed in the Stratford Gazette September 2017

“September is the season for canning, drying and freezing. It’s the time to save seeds and to review your successes and failures in order to plan next year. Pride has no place in this assessment.”

Isn’t that a great first line? So begins Republic of Dirt: A Return to Woefield Farm by Susan Juby (Fic Juby). This book, with a great first line, spoke to my gardening self, so I checked it out to read at home. But, the subtitle clued me into Juby’s first book, The Woefield Poultry Collective (Fic Juby) which I ended up reading first.

Aug 13, 2017

This is a good book, but I did not particularly enjoy reading it.

Why not? Because I like to immerse myself in a book, and I simply cannot do that when it bounces back and forth between different first person narrators every couple of pages. If that doesn't bother you, you'll likely enjoy the book. For me, every switch is like starting over and I never get the chance to sink into the book. (I find the problem much worse with first person narration than with third person narration.)

The narrators themselves are perfectly interesting characters, and I would have enjoyed getting to know any and all of them better in a different format. The plot is well-constructed, and the pacing is good.

coroboreefarm May 06, 2017

The Woefield Farm Poultry Collective is one of my all time favourite books. Charming, riotous and at times heart breaking, it is the tale of a delightful young New Yorker, Prudence Burns, who inherits her uncle's derelict farm in British Columbia, and with the help of a band of quirky, marginalized characters, brings it back to life. Nominated for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award, it is the perfect laugh out loud read.

Republic of Dirt is the sequel to this witty yarn. The story of Prudence, and her band of lost souls continues to entertain and enlighten us with insights into the reality of small acreage farming and the perils of living out your dreams in the country. Told in several voices, it is another charmer from a talented young writer.

Feb 09, 2017

I'm not very good at light novels in general. Juby's Woefield books manage humour with realism and utterly charming characters in a way that kept me hooked. It's always fun to read books set near where you live, too (Vancouver Island). Want another installment!

Feb 09, 2016

Funny and well written. An easy, relaxing read. Escape from your to-do list by reading about Prudence's!

May 31, 2015

As with the first book, I really enjoyed it. If I had have had the time I would have read the entire thing in one setting. Juby just writes so incredibly well. I love how she can wrrite from the perspective of so many different characters. It's a "just one more chapter" kind of book. I laughed and I cried. It was simply delightful.

SPL_Robyn Mar 10, 2015

Reviewed in the Stratford Gazette

lasmith55 Mar 07, 2015

I really enjoy Susan Juby's writing and loved both the First book Woefield Poultry Collective and this book too.
I especially enjoyed the tongue in cheek wit and the flawed and likeable characters.

ontherideau Feb 23, 2015

Good hearted, flawed people, a depressed sheep and a mule with attitude and Appaloosa spots- just what we need to counteract the madness of world news.
Susan Juby has a knack for lively turns of phrase. And yes there is a Trinidad Scorpian- look it up - they're pretty cute. Wikipedia describes them as "piquant".


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Aug 14, 2016

. . . I felt like a dog that someone was trying to give away to people who would just tie it in the backyard.

Aug 14, 2016

It had been so long since I’d heard writing that good that I was disoriented. True talent has that effect, I find. It’s so unexpected and undeniable. Like a poltergeist in the room.

Aug 14, 2016

I was feeling self-esteem. Unbelievable. Prudence is always yammering on about how every good decision makes it easier to make the next good decision, and how self-esteem is built one good decision at a time. I mostly tune her out, but I think she might be right.

Aug 14, 2016

There’s things you should do with your time and things you shouldn’t. Writing about yourself, or worse, writing about people you made up, is no activity for a grown-up.


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SPL_Robyn Mar 10, 2015

Prudence, Seth, Earl and Sara are back, and this time they’ve got a mule. Having started to make a go of it raising organic veggies during the summer, things take a turn for the worse when uber-liberal Prudence falls ill and refuses to treat her thyroid condition with anything more than herbs and ‘energy thoughts’. Her decision-making skills – normally somewhat dubious being perkily obstinate about seeing what she wants to see – are highly impaired by her condition, and between exceedingly long naps she gives $4000 to a contractor with a gambling addiction to build a barn, buys a condemned playhouse to convert into a road-side stand, and purchases the most mulish mule that ever lived and optimistically names it “Lucky”.

Trying to pick up the slack, Seth (a recovering alcoholic-agoraphobic) and Earl (the elderly curmudgeon who mixes metaphors) do their best to take care of 11-year-old Sara and the farm. However they have their own ways of doing things, and when good intentions collide, Sara is left vulnerable and in danger. She is forced to leave the farm and live with her separated parents, both of whom are so wrapped up in their own misery they pay little attention to their daughter. Things get a lot worse before they get better.

But there is a reason these four characters found each other before, and little by little (and with two big bollockings from Seth and Sara), the residents of Woefield find their way back to being a family unit, a team. And before winter settles in, the family unit expands to include a few more eccentric but ultimately decent folk who feel the charismatic pull of Woefield Farm. Told in alternating voices and perspectives of the four main characters, Republic of Dirt is just as laugh-out-loud funny as Susan Juby’s first Woefield novel, just as touching, and just as full of good family feeling and heart. A great late-winter read.


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Aug 14, 2016

Coarse Language: some conversational swearing

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