Author: Angela Correll
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
How I Got It: contacted by publicist
New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded, putting a halt to her weekends in Rome and jet-setting lifestyle. Soon her boyfriend's true natrue is revealed, and to make matters worse, she loses her apartment. In the midst of her crashing life, Annie leaves the city for the family farm in Kentucky, a place she's avoided for years. She finds a shotgun-wielding grandmother, a farm in disrepair, and a suspicious stranger renting the old stone house.
The country quiet haunts Annie with reminders of a past that can't be changed. She tries persuading her ailing grandmother to sell the farm, but is met with stubborn refusal. Childhood friend Jake Wilder is contemplating a leap off the corporate ladder to follow his passion for sustainable farming. Nearly ready to propose to Camille, a girl who wants more, not less, Annie believes Jake is making a terrible mistake. After all these years, does she have the right to tell him?
As the summer heats up, so do Annie's unexpected feelings for Jake and her love for the land. She sees a glimmer of hope for a second chance. But just as she is finding common ground with her grandmother, a phone call from New York forces her to chose between the past and the future.
Too often the word "simple" is used in a negative context. In today's hustle and bustle world the line between consumerism and over-consumption is constantly challenged. But every trend has a tipping point and we now see a rise in sustainable agriculture (how things were done for years prior to demands of spot free apples and overplump chicken breasts.) We see an uptick in organic farming versus GMOs and mass production of inferior crops and animals. Angela Correll incorporates this "new" trend into her her novel by demonstrating that these practices are how family farms were run for generations. She juxtaposes Jake's passion of returning to "simple" agricultural practices with Annie's desire to travel the world working as a flight attendant based in New York.
While the storyline appears basic (maybe even scary and depressing?) --Girl moves home after break-up and job loss to settle into life on family farm, Correll hits the mark by exemplifying Annie's resistance. Annie's growing comfort and gradual ease into daily farm life parallels the the return of "simple" and sustainable farming. Changes are slow and sometimes not initially understood. But once one becomes open to possibilities, great things can happen. And some of the greatest things are the simple things.