Ditch the City and Go Country: How to Master the Art of Rural Life from a Former City Dweller

Alissa Hessler. Page Street, $21.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-62414-391-5
In this handbook for ex-urbanites, Hessler, a photographer and blogger (Urban Exodus), assembles ”tips, tools, hacks, and advice” for escaping the city and adapting to rural life. Drawing on her experience moving from metropolitan Seattle to coastal Maine, Hessler walks readers through the transitional process, encouraging them to do careful research before embracing all things country. Smart strategies for how to “avoid the awkward adjustment” include instructions for house hunting, gardening, raising livestock, making connections with neighbors, earning a living, joining a community, and preparing for the unexpected (floods, snowstorms, animal attacks, and so on). Hessler advises, “Don’t be scared, be vigilant,” to avoid social blunders, isolation, and financial disaster, and offers creative ways to connect with seasonal rhythms. She emphasizes the importance of cooking skills, reminding readers that living a rural life without upping one’s “culinary prowess” makes life “less rich.” Recipes provided include Grandma’s “Meet the Neighbors” shortbread, comforting beef stew, seasonal fruit crumbles and sauces, and even a cappuccino made with goat’s milk. She includes instructions on canning, freezing, and dehydrating. This “outsider’s guide to a rewarding life in the country” is both a practical and inspiring treatise for folks dreaming of greener pastures. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 07/18/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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