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Publisher's Summary

Poignant, irreverent, and hilarious: a memoir about survival and self-discovery, by an indomitable woman who never loses sight of what matters most.
It’s the summer of 2005, and Mardi Jo Link’s dream of living the simple life has unraveled into debt, heartbreak, and perpetually ragged cuticles. She and her husband of nineteen years have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce. More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt. Armed with an unfailing sense of humor and three resolute accomplices, Link confronts blizzards and foxes, learns about Zen divorce and the best way to butcher a hog, dominates a zucchini-growing contest and wins a year’s supply of local bread, masters the art of bargain cooking, wrangles rampaging poultry, and withstands any blow to her pride in order to preserve the life she wants.
With an infectious optimism that would put Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to shame and a deep appreciation of the natural world, Link tells the story of how, over the course of one long year, she holds on to her sons, saves the farm from foreclosure, and finds her way back to a life of richness and meaning on the land she loves.
©2013 Mardi Jo Link (P)2013 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By CHRIS on 08-18-13

great story about a mom who will fight for her fam

Would you consider the audio edition of Bootstrapper to be better than the print version?

didnt read book

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bootstrapper?

the zucchini contest

What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

loved her voice

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

more women like this and America would be back on track

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Nicole on 09-27-13

The memoir of a whining twit.

What would have made Bootstrapper better?

A bonfire on which the original manuscript was placed? The book was terrible. It's rare that a book get's under my skin this way- but two months after listening to it, I'm still annoyed.

Has Bootstrapper turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all. But it has turned me off to reading anything by Mardi- Jo Link, or listening to anything narrated by Karen White.

What didn’t you like about Karen White’s performance?

I think it is possible I would have disliked Mardi Jo less if the portrayal of her had been different. Less tentative and resigned. Less self-congrautlaing and stoic.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nope. Not one. I am rarely this hard on a production of any kind- but this was a waste of time.

Any additional comments?

First off- Physics 101 will tell you that because every force has an equal and opposite force, pulling yourself up "by your bootstraps" is a physical impossibility.

Second- there are people out there who defy the laws of gravity and do this everyday- pushing forward against real odds, with humility and grace. This book is an insult to those people. This woman is a educated, landed, employed, human whose pride got in the way of her best judgement, and her ability to keep her children warm and fed. I found myself thinking again and again, "What an idiot!"

The real kicker- the happy ending- is that a man comes along to save her. How 19th century..... So much for her own bootstraps. What a joke!

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6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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