Book Review: Coop; A Family, a Farm and the Pursuit of One Good Egg

I am not sure exactly what I was expecting when I started reading Coop; A Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg by Michael Perry, but I got so much more… and less… than I was expecting.  I think I was expecting something more like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  I’m not sure what gave me that impression; the title, the description, the cover?  No matter the cause, Coop is not really anything like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, unless you count the efforts by the two writers to live off their land.  Perry is a great writer, of that there is no doubt.  Coop is incredibly well written, if slightly meandering look at Perry’s life, but instead of being about poultry, farms, or eggs, it is more about family.  Perry examines his early life and the ways of his parents; the honest way they lived, worked, raised him and his many brothers and sisters (his parents were foster parents as well, they raised over sixty children, many of whom were special needs).  He takes these memories to remake himself as a husband, father, and farmer.  With a stepdaughter to raise, another child on the way, and over thirty-seven acres of ramshackle farmland to take care of, he knows he needs to reexamine those life lessons.

Perry writes with humor, eloquence, and a genteel humility that is refreshing and I felt a certain kinship to the man as he struggles to do even the simplest things right. I have a very small garden in my backyard, big enough to last my family the summer, with hopefully a little bit left from canning and freezing to supplement our food during the winter.  Unfortunately I have commute to work and two children to entertain when I get home; so when I read of how Perry juggles his freelance writing with the daily farm life he hopes to lead…well, I was impressed.  And inspired.

So yes, it wasn’t what I expected at all, and sometimes, those are the best books of all.

For more on Michael Perry please visit his website:

Michael Perry will be on Blog Talk Radio with Book Club Girl on Monday, June 7th at 7pm EST.

Here’s the link:

Coop; a Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg
Michael Perry
Published by:
Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Paperback, 382 page
On Sale:
(May 4, 2010)

Thank you to TLC book tours and the publisher, for supplying this book.

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Coop; A Family, a Farm and the Pursuit of One Good Egg

  1. This sounds like my kind of book! I can have chickens where I live, and three pretty ladies, owned by my neighbors, often wander around the neighborhood. They like to stop beneath my bird feeder and feast on whatever fell to the ground.

    I can attest to the idea that just because you work freelance and from home doesn't mean you have any extra time.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..The Pure and the Impure by Colette =-.

  2. I'm so glad to see a review of this book! It's been on my radar. I have one to read soon that you may be interested in- it's called The Bucolic Plague and I think is released next month. It seems like it may be a mix between this one and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
    .-= Aarti´s last blog ..TSS: NYRB Classics! =-.

  3. Ahh, books that surprise you are the best! They're so refreshing! Glad you liked this book, and from your description it sounds fantastic. 🙂

    Thanks for being on this tour!

  4. I was impressed with how much he was trying to do — freelancing and farming — but I almost wanted more details about how he was making it work. He talked about being busy a lot, but I sometimes wondered what other stuff he was doing.

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