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Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Mardi Jo Link
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8. April 2014

When Mardi Jo Link finds herself a newly single mother after nineteen years of marriage, she makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to stay in her century old-farmhouse and continue raising her three boys on well-water, chopping wood, and dirt. Armed with an unflagging sense of humor and a relentless optimism that would put Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to shame, Link and her resolute accomplices struggle through one long, hard year of blizzards, foxes, bargain cooking, rampaging poultry, a zucchini-growing contest, and other challenges. 


  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: Reprint (8. April 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0307743586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307743589
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,1 x 13 x 2,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

Mehr über den Autor

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Winner of the GREAT LAKES, GREAT READS Booksellers' Choice Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award

“Glints with Link's raw, willful energy. . . . Possesses that rare, elusive, but much sought-after feeling of authenticity.”
     —The New York Times Book Review

“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 . . . don't need your sympathy. Just a break now and then.”
     —Garrison Keillor

“A country song of a memoir, complete with a broken-down truck named Cookie. It's great fun to listen to . . . full blast.”
     —San Francisco Chronicle
 “You’ll fall in love with Mardi Jo Link’s family in this irreverent and heartwarming memoir.”

“Inspirational and funny in the I-might-as-well-laugh-or-I-think-I’ll-cry sort of way.”
     —Detroit Free Press

“Dynamic. . . . Throws a wrench, or in this case a pitchfork, into the saga of the newly single mother. . . . Link’s snappy writing turns this potentially familiar story into a new kind of survivalist country song.”
     —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Hilarious, wrenching, and heartwarming . . . Chronicles one woman’s determination to discover meaning and wholeness in the midst of brokenness.”

“A tale of grit and determination. . . . In reading Bootstrapper other single parents might feel solidarity in the shared experience of struggle—may even derive strength.”
     —New York Journal of Books

“Link’s style of writing is like her style of living—direct, funny, void of self-pity and exceedingly humane. . . . This is a book about a mother’s fierce love and the sustaining fabric of family; yet, just beneath is a powerful subtext about the value of work.”
     —Kirkus Reviews

“Tough, honest . . . Will appeal to the bootstrapper in all of us.”

“As much triumph as tragedy. . . . Both humorous and heartwarming.” 
     —Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle

“Poignant, funny. . . . Filled with the kind of joy only a tough-minded mother could bring to her kids.”
     —Northern Express

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Mardi Jo Link is the author of BootstrapperWhen 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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4.0 von 5 Sternen BOTH GRIT AND HUMOR IN THIS MEMOIR 18. Juni 2013
Format:Audio CD
A classically trained actress Karen White has distinguished herself as an accomplished narrative artist. No matter the genre White inhabits the text with ease and elan. She now has over 100 audio books to her credit and multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards. Her interpretation of this audio’s lead character is stunning! The book is subtitled “From Broke to Badass on A Northern Michigan Farm,” and White captures every syllable delivering a can’t-stop-listening-to reading.

Bootstrapper is a memoir that makes us want to hum “I Am Woman.” She faced almost insurmountable obstacles, with grace, grit and humor. In the summer of 2005 Link’s dream of enjoying happy, simple farm life blew up in her face. She and her husband of 19 years have declared it’s over, which leaves her with three boys and bills, bills, bills. She decides to remain in the 100-year-old farmhouse in northern Michigan, and raise her boys there.

Needless to say that’s tough with a capital T. But Link takes on the task of being farmer, breadwinner and mother, and feeds those growing boys on what grew in their vegetable garden, one hog, and a year’s supply of day-old bread (which she won in a zucchini-growing contest).

This is a touching account of what one woman can accomplish, of how her strength and stick-to-itiveness saved her home and family.


- Gail Cooke
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  134 Rezensionen
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Pull yourself up by your.... 11. Juni 2013
Von Luanne Ollivier - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Bootstrapper: to promote or develop by initiative and effort with little or no assistance --- Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Mardi Jo Link is living the life she always dreamed of - three amazing young sons and the opportunity to raise them in the countryside in a beautiful old farmhouse sitting on six acres. And yes, there was a husband too - but with divorce now a certainty, Mardi Jo is determined to hang onto her sons, her house and her land - by herself.

"I'm claiming my sons, the farm, the debt, the other debt, the horses, the dogs, and the land. I'm claiming our century-old farmhouse, the garden, the woods, the pasture, the barn, and the Quonset-hut garage. They're all mine now, and this is how I will raise my boys: on cheerful summer days and well water and BB guns and horseback riding and dirt. Because I'm claiming our whole country life, the one I've been dreaming of and planning out and working for since I was a little girl."

And this is where the bootstrapping comes into play -for Link is working with next to nothing in the way of finances. And wants to do it on her own - "I made this bed and I'll either lie in it or die in it, but I won't ask anyone for help."

Mardi Jo details the physical ups and downs - the day to day business of providing, but Bootstrapper also reads like a personal diary with Link's hopes, dreams, triumphs, losses and more laid bare. But what shone through the brightest was the love for her sons. These are the passages that stayed with me the longest. There are struggles, but the love and support they feel for each other is tangible. And quite humorous at times.

""Boys," I announced, "we're going to raise some chickens."
"Another pet to play with!" said Will, the idealist.
"Another kind of poop to clean up, said Luke, the worker.
"Another animal in bondage," said Owen, the activist."

I couldn't put Bootstrapper down - I was cheering Mardi Jo on with every chapter. And I empathized - we too bought an old farmhouse and there were some mighty lean years in the beginning - and there were two of us. I loved the descriptions of her garden - I too have grown our own vegetables for many, many years. Seed catalogues are exciting.

And at the end of the year is there a happy ever after ending? I'll let you discover that for yourself.

Bootstrapper is a one sitting read, one I enjoyed for its honesty. These are the memoirs I like to read - real people, real life. And she sounds like the kind of person I'd like to visit with on the porch.
29 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Martha Stewart in Flannel 3. Juli 2013
Von Melanie Gilbert - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Laura Wilder, author of the classic "Little House" series, was a bootstrapper. She lived a childhood of unrelenting sorrow and sacrifice, deprivations and dangers. She then married into an even more trying life as the wife of Almanzo, a struggling and unlucky farmer.

Laura Wilder was also a writer. And while her work never featured sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, drinking, cursing, bitterness or blame, she wrote about her frontier experiences with a poetic stoicism that still resonates with readers.

There's a difference between living a life dedicated to living off the land and a temporary life of "roughing it" until your fortunes improve because your modern lifestyle has run off the rails.

Author Mardi Jo Link is a lot of things - divorced, broke, clever, ridiculous, scrappy and stubborn. She may be bad as she wants to be, and she may be an ass, but she is not a badass. She is also not a bootstrapper.

Too bad, because that's the book I wanted to read. Link confuses back to basics - due to personal and professional setbacks - to being back to nature. Spoiler alert: this is not a Foxfire-style book set on a Northern Michigan farm; this is a lifestyle book dressed in flannel and ready to party.
28 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing 29. Mai 2013
Von Catherine Jo Morgan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I expected to enjoy this book a lot, based on the title, subtitle ("From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm") and the blurb from the publisher, (" extraordinary account....")

I did finish it, but all the time I was reading this book, I was waiting for something that never came. I'm afraid the experience was more like listening patiently to a friend tell about all the stuff going wrong in her life -- when you're listening because, hey, that's what friends do. A lot of this book seemed sort of whomped up, hyberbole, so there was a sense of "drama queen" here. Granted, a lot did go wrong and there were plenty of challenges. The author succeeded in what she set out to do. If the whole thing were toned down a bit -- to lower the reader's expectations -- I think it would have come off better.

In this kind of memoir, I look for real humor, compassion and a deeper level of understanding -- new insights, new patterns, an expansion of awareness. I want the book to open up something new for me, change me in what feels like a good way. In other words, I want something besides what I read here.

This book isn't badly written, and no author can be expected to write as well early on, as after the first seven or eight books. So I hope this author doesn't give up. But -- I wouldn't recommend spending money to buy this one.
30 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen most will want to pass on this one, I think 22. Mai 2013
Von Just Me - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I found the author to be immature and the book to be depressing and not enjoyable. No lessons learned, no connections made. I suspect that most readers would not identify or enjoy "spending time" with the drunk driving, 8 ball tournament winning author. Her children, 3 sons, are rude to her. She, in turn, describes them as "little traitors" for wanting to spend the weekend with their father, whom Link has recently separated from. The book contains coarse language and the corresponding attitude throughout. Link goes to one PTA meeting. When she is unable to convince them to plan a field trip to her farm so that the kids can work their, she never returns to the PTA. Sunday brunch consists of 2 donuts each for her sons and a bloody Mary for Link. Link seldom looks on the bright side, complaining about the mess and smell (!!!!) of toasting marshmallows in the fireplace. She isolates herself, not even telling her parents about the troubles she is experiencing.

A side note on the chickens. She is told to get Leghorns to raise for meat. Leghorns are quite possibly the worst chickens, besides most bantams, for meat. They are bred for the production of massive quantities of eggs. And no, they aren't great in the cold either, despite what she was told. Turns out not to matter, though, as Link can't bring herself to slaughter them and gives them away.

The book concludes with Link's marriage to a new man, who isn't discussed much in the book. No conclusion to her financial struggles, unless this man is well off enough to rescue the farm for her.

8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, though uneven 10. Mai 2013
Von booklass - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This book was given to me for my review.
SPOILERS!!--Mardi Jo Link's book, Bootsrapper, is about a suddenly single woman, her three sons, and a farm. To be more specific, it is about a broke, single mother, three very charming sons, and a farm that is alternately an albatross and a Utopia.
Link begins her story with the separation from her husband, for reasons only hinted at in her journal-like recollections until further into the story. The story is hampered by vagueness at times, and I think part of it was understandably for privacy's sake. At other times, I felt that she was caught up in the weediness of too many words to describe how SHE perceived an event, forgetting that the reader needs enough details to come to see the event in the whole. I wanted to shout, "Okay! I get it, but what actually HAPPENED?"
For example, there was the incident with the horse, which was upsetting to read about. I might have been even more sympathetic toward Link's feelings, if I knew what really happened with that whole incident. While I pondered that, suddenly, there is a stray dog she's never seen before, and she calls it "a killer" and wants to "take the dog down" with a BB gun, then "finish him off" with the golf club. I abhor animal cruelty, and I was repulsed. What's more, I couldn't figure out why she came to this macabre conclusion about the animal. I went back, reread, and I still am not sure what I missed.

There were other moments in the story, when I wondered who was the adult in the family and who were the children. Some of Link's decisions were questionable, but I often felt considerable empathy for the circumstances Link was forced to make them in. Link was given a raw hand, and she just as often played it well. It is obvious that she loves her boys very much, and it is in writing about her sons that Link truly shines. Seeing her sons through her eyes, and listening to some of the things they said, was a true pleasure. The wise, the witty, and the humorous utterances of three (obviously very intelligent) boys carried the story when it might have faltered. Also, Link does have a way with language, and she can write extremely well. She has a gift, at times, of saying a lot sparingly and saying it beautifully. I think the book had a spot or two that I found repugnant, and a few where I was frustrated by her writing style, but there were a lot of beautiful, thought provoking moments in this rather slim volume, too.
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