A Country Year

( 3 )

Overview

When her thirty-year marriage broke up, Sue Hubbell found herself alone and broke on a small Ozarks farm. Keeping bees, she found solace in the natural world. She began to write, challenging herself to tell the absolute truth about her life and the things that she cared about. The result is one of the best-loved books ever written about life on the land, about a woman finding her way in middle age.

Essays as fresh and entrancing as the wilderness they describe; ...

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Overview

When her thirty-year marriage broke up, Sue Hubbell found herself alone and broke on a small Ozarks farm. Keeping bees, she found solace in the natural world. She began to write, challenging herself to tell the absolute truth about her life and the things that she cared about. The result is one of the best-loved books ever written about life on the land, about a woman finding her way in middle age.

Essays as fresh and entrancing as the wilderness they describe; Hubbell testifies to the wholeness and serenity of those who live in "an untrimmed state."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An invasion of spring peepers, a young indigo bunting at song practice, a parade of caterpillarsthese are integral parts of Hubbell's environment. She lives alone on a 100-acre farm in the Ozarks, where she tends 200 beehives and produces honey on a commercial scale. In a series of exquisite vignettes she takes us into her world, and a life attuned to nature. Hubbell's busiest season is late summer, when she harvests the honey. Then she needs help for the backbreaking labor (``a strong young man who is not afraid of being stung''). She tells how she desensitizes her helper to bee stings; there is a vivid description of a day in the beeyard at harvest time. We meet her dogs and cats, her neighbors; travel with her when she sells the honey; share the pleasures of observing wildlife. Some of these delightful pieces have appeared in the ``Hers'' column of the New York Times and in Country Journal. Illustrations. First serial to Harper's. (April 10)
School Library Journal
YA Hubbell, a former librarian and now a commercial beekeeper, lives on a peninsula between two rivers in the Ozark Mountains. Her quiet reflections are arranged by seasons, beginning and ending with the spring. Most of the short chapters include an attractive pen-and-ink sketch of the insect, plant, or little animal, etc., that is the major subject of the essay. Through a map of her farm and the lovely prose descriptions of the natural settings that she has had around her for the past 12 years, readers gain a pleasant picture of the countryside. This is a book for those who enjoy natural history and the questions that arise from it. Rain, snow, and mud; countless harbingers of each season; and Hubbell's bees and how they fare all make fascinating reading for anyone who appreciates the beauties and intricacies of the natural world.Mary Wadsworth Sucher, Baltimore County Reading Services
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395967010
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 288,390
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Hubbell is the author of, among other works, A Country Year and A Book of Bees, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Maine and Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    A Life Changing Read

    Sue Hubble's reflections are smooth and creamy like fresh country butter. It's a book all people who are caught in the busy hubbub of life, and wondering how they got there, should read. She has proven that when life throws you a momentous change, such as being middle-aged and newly divorced, it holds such sweet suprises that you never dreamed could be. It is pure, beautiful and the essence of life's truths. A woman who truly stopped to notice the chaos of the natural world around her, rather than the concrete and metal one, with a quiet and thoughtful eye. I hope we can all live such a beautiful tale before we turn the last pages of our own lives. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO! Her story is so beautiful that I myself have decided to cash in the corporate robe for that of a simple country shawl. The only shame is that stores are shelving this book in the 'nature journal' section where fewer people might run across it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2000

    Simple Elegance

    From the opening of the quote by Rilke and all the way through the book I was captivated. I live very near the area from which Ms. Hubbell wites her words of plantive beauty. She captures the very essence of life in this remote and rural arena of life. At times I laughed and at times I cried, but in each delicate moment I found myself captivated by her lyric style of writing. A MUST READ, for anyone who wants to experience a simplier life. Read a few chapters then relax, close your eyes and listen to the breeze, the bees and the birds. You only have to let yourself go to do it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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