If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie

Christopher Ingraham. Harper, $24.99 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-06-286147-4
With humor and insight, Washington Post reporter Ingraham writes of relocating his family from Washington, D.C., to rural Minnesota. In 2015, Ingraham wrote a story that went viral about “the worst place to live in America,” based on a USDA study­­—Minnesota’s Red Lake County (which has no lakes). His charming book, though, is not about infuriating the people of Red Lake Falls­—who immediately welcomed his family—but how a trip there awakened a desire to get his family out of their cramped Baltimore house and away from miserable commutes. Ingraham’s account of this somewhat spontaneous relocation (the paper allowed Ingraham, who reports on data, to work remotely) to the frozen prairie is nuanced, leavened with tongue-in-cheek infographics and thoughtful ruminations on place. He jabs at his fellow coastal reporters (who “mistake local quirks for cultural divides”) and plays for fish-out-of-water laughs when killing his first deer or discovering “Minnesota pizza is universally bad.” But he avoids Northern Exposure–type pandering and zeroes in on the appeal of “a quiet working-class normalcy” in a town whose residents view Minneapolis as a “far-off urban hellscape.” This unpredictable look at the intimacy to be found in rural regions will enchant urban dwellers. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/20/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-286149-8
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