"Mud Season: How One Woman's Dream of Moving to Vermont, Raising Children, Chickens, and Sheep & Running the Old Country Store Pretty Much Led to One Calamity after Another" (The Countryman Press), by Ellen Stimson

First, the good: Ellen Stimson is funny. Darned funny. And she knows how to spin a good, old-fashioned yarn. She's telling her story of moving from the urban Midwest to rural Vermont to live out her dream of buying an old house and running the quintessential country store — and it's amusing. She talks about the time she undressed in the wrong motel room, the time she called 911 because the two-lane highway was blocked by cattle, and the time she dumped a 2-gallon jug of red food coloring into a large pond to simulate a battle scene from "Treasure Island" and was yelled at by cops for starting an environmental disaster.

Stimson tells her tales with clear-eyed, self-deprecating humor, which makes "Mud Season" a breeze to read in a single sitting.

Despite the amusing anecdotes, Stimson's first foray into writing books — in a previous life, she sold books — is more than a bit flawed. To call it a memoir is a stretch. Her collection of 11 "chapters" reads more like a haphazard collection of essays that would have better served her experience. Stimson should have hired a good editor. That person could have insisted on solid transitions between chapters and removing much of the repetition.

But things really fall apart near the end. Stimson has complained for more than 200 pages about how much money she's spending and how the renovations to the house, the lack of sales at the store and everything else are bleeding her dry. She even flippantly considers bankruptcy after a good friend explains that she has a failed business and that's why bankruptcy exists — it's "part of the system," he says. In the eleventh hour, Stimson is bailed out by a buyer and she and her family of five take off on vacation. What? They rent a cabin and a pontoon boat. They swim in Canadian waters, then stuff themselves on hot dogs and s'mores.

To top it off, she concludes the book with a collection of recipes — seemingly from out of nowhere — as well as obituaries for her lost pets. These tacked-on sections are sweet but have no place in this so-called memoir.

___

Online:

http://www.ellenstimson.com/

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel