Review of Sheepish by Catherine Friend

sheepishA review of Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet by Catherine Friend

Sheepish is a delightful little book of vignettes – some related, some less so – of Catherine Friend’s life on sheep farm with her wife, who is much more euthanistic about the farming lifestyle than Catherine herself is. Although she has come to appreciate and even to enjoy the life, her constant anxiety and worry at lambing time led her and her partner to hire a lambing assistant (who Friend refers to, tongue firmly in cheek, as the Pasture Goddess).

It was interesting to read a farming memoir from another perceptive. That of the person who loves the person whose dream it is to become a farmer. There are many funny stories in here, including the author’s temporary addiction to playing Farmville! A strange pastime for someone who lives on an actual, working farm! Friend also chronicles her journey from mocking what she called “fiber freaks”, to learning to spin, to her first few fumbling attempts at knitting, and her eventual descent into full-on fiber freakishness herself. Of course, my favorite of the stories always involved the attics of the animals themselves, the sheep from which the book gets its title, and there are plenty of those. She does it all with a wry sense of humor that makes it very fun to read, and the courage to lay out her self-doubts and fears for all to see, making her very relatable. It was a very fun book.

As it turns out, this is her third farming-related book, which I was unaware of when I ordered it. After reading Sheepish, I will definitely have to acquire Hit by a Farm and the Compassionate Carnivore as soon as possible!

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