Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

2.8 27
by Susan McCorkindale

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A laugh-out-loud memoir about a city slicker who discovers that Manolos and manure just don't mix.

At her husband's prompting, suburban mom and New York career woman Susan McCorkindale agreed to give up her stressful six-figure job. Together, they headed down south to a 500-acre beef farm, and never looked back. Well, he didn't look back. She did. A lot.


A laugh-out-loud memoir about a city slicker who discovers that Manolos and manure just don't mix.

At her husband's prompting, suburban mom and New York career woman Susan McCorkindale agreed to give up her stressful six-figure job. Together, they headed down south to a 500-acre beef farm, and never looked back. Well, he didn't look back. She did. A lot.

From playing ?spot the religious billboard? on the drive to rural Virginia, to adapting to a world without Starbucks, to planning bright-orange hunter-resistant wardrobes for the kids (?We moved here to get away from the madness of Manhattan only to risk getting popped on our own property?), this is her hilarious account of how a city girl came to love?or at least tolerate?country life.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Former Family Circle marketing director McCorkindale writes about adapting to life on a Virginia cattle farm. Burnt out from her demanding job and frightened by 9/11, the debut author gave in to her husband's dream of leaving suburban New Jersey for the pastoral paradise of Upperville, Va. She kissed goodbye the high-six-figure salary that had her "dripping in Donna Karan," packed her six- and 13-year-old sons in the Durango, and accompanied her spouse South to raise chickens. McCorkindale christened their 1890 farmhouse "Nate's Place" because her literary husband, nicknamed "Hemingway," noted its resemblance to Nathaniel Hawthorne's home. The fish-out-of-water story is divided into short chapters that read as self-contained anecdotes, each including a fluffy e-mail, a set of tips or a top-ten list at the end. (The most worthwhile is "The Impractical Girl's Guide to Farm Speak.") The author's rural misadventures included rollerblading through a cattle guard, rescuing Hemingway from a toppled chicken perch, running from a stampede of cows, schvitzing in the double Burberry turtlenecks she donned in emulation of the locals (she drew the line at riding pants), and chasing loose hens in Via Spiga stilettos (two in a lengthy parade of designer shoes). But frustrations such as cheerless DMV workers, slow bank tellers and unreliable contractors, McCorkindale might be disappointed to know, are not unique to the countryside. The author is at her funniest when recounting her faux pas: assuming that "riding" meant the subway, or not knowing what address to give the 911 operator (numberless estate name or P.O. box?). Her prose is chatty and upbeat, conveying an odd mix of self-effacement andsnobbishness. (Continual references to her pre-move success and fashion-police smackdowns will alienate some readers.) The book's 227 footnotes range from shout-outs to loved ones to entirely separate stories, most of which are distracting and should have been cut. More proof that funny e-mails and a good blog do not necessarily add up to a good book.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
595 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Susan McCorkindale, a former marketing director at Family Circle, is now a freelance advertising copywriter in the wilds of Virginia. But she still loves the New York Giants, Bruce Springsteen, and the Jersey Shore. This is her first book.

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Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
ThirdSister More than 1 year ago
I returned this book after finishing it. I finished it in hopes that the author would get far less annoying, learn to wear boots in the cow pasture, stop spending all of her husband's money on designer purses, stop whining about the lack of Starbucks, stop talking about her boys' peeing and nose-picking habits, and stop overusing the words "tome" and "hinterland." Alas. The memoir was supposed to be funny, but I didn't crack a smile until at least page 50. Her voice was annoying, her informal and overused "This is probably a good time to tell you." showed a serious lack of journalistic maturity, and her "thing" seemed to be little (unnecessary, long, annoying, rarely humorous) footnotes. She took great pride in never adjusting to farm life (at the end of the book they move to a lake and she's excited because there's a Starbucks in town.get over it already) and spending a ton of money. At one point she orders 135 bathing suits to try on in the comfort of her own home, shipping back the 132 she didn't keep. If you have to try on 135 bathing suits to find one or three that you want to keep, you're a) not supposed to be wearing one anyway, b) too stupid to be near water, or c) have no concept of money or reality. The woman behaved like a petulant, airhead 13-year-old for the entire book, during which time she advertises herself as unable to do anything (can't cook, can't discipline her kids, can't drive a truck, can't blow-dry her own hair straight) and proud of it. Whatever floats your boat, Suzie. I got my money back.
dcwriter More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book--I thought I would like this book. Unfortunately, Susan McCorkindale is entirely out of touch with the average reader/person. She complains to no end about how hard it is to live in her brother-in-law's house that is "practically a four-star hotel." How annoying it is that the contractors aren't getting their renovations done on time (more items that would cost a FORTUNE). How inconvenient it is to have to spend 2 hours at the DMV--HEY SUSAN, ANYONE WHO HAS EVER MOVED TO A NEW STATE, OR EVEN A NEW HOME, SPENDS TWO HOURS AT THE DMV. AND MOST OF US HAVE JOBS THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE VACATION TIME FROM TO DO IT. She is condescending and comes off as a huge snob. I would never, ever recommend this book to ANY LIVING PERSON.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where to start..... I guess I'll start with the author's (I use that term loosely) experience of working in New York. She happily and shamelessly admits to dumping her work onto her staff and goofing off while collecting a large salary (she gave the work to the staff but not the money). I can't help but wonder what her former employer thought when they read this. I hope that they gave serious thought to suing her. After writing about her days as a high paid slacker she goes on (and on and on) to talk about shopping, lots of shopping. In all fairness she also talks about her hair and her figure. I was wondering why any publisher would shell out money for this but it was probably financed by a variety of retail establishments. Starbucks (which is mentioned on almost every page) probably paid most of it. When she's not talking about shopping and trying (and failing) very hard to be funny she sometimes mentions her dim witted, Playboy addicted husband who she refers to by a number of nicknames as if he was some type of pet. Hearing about him isn't as bad as hearing about her spoiled brat sons. Of course it's not their fault they're spoiled. She goes into great detail about the lengths she goes to to spoil them. She goes into great detail about everything (e.g. her day spent trying on swimsuits) except life on the farm. Having made the transition from city life and a well paid job to rural life (and a not so well paid job) I know how many interesting things there are to write about when making that kind of transition. She doesn't write about any of them. She talks in the beginning of the book about how traumatized she was by 911 and then goes on to talk about her sons playing terrorist. Here's a quote from one of the little darlings "I'm a terrorist and I'm going to take you out." When she talked about the kids being "tricked out like terrorists" to "pop pigeons" I decided to stop torturing myself and turn the book into mulch which is as close to farm life as it's ever going to get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely provide reviews or feedback. However, I feel compelled to share that this was one of the few books that I threw away without finishing. It was terrible. I prefer to share books with friends or neighbors or donate to the local library's book sale. Not the case with this book. I usually try to read a book at least halfway through. I expected this book to provide an amusing summer read, but it was so clumsily written that I was forced to abandon it. The writer's attempts to be funny in describing her move from suburban New Jersey to rural Virginia are feeble. The anecdotes are contrived and manipulated. The story line, if there is one, is so disjointed that it's hard to follow. The writer should have stuck with her job in magazine marketing. The bottom line: If you enjoy good writing, don't buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended by my local bn I found this book boring. It was the same thing page after page. Just about her life going from the city to the country. Her very ill mannered children and spouse who don't do anything to keep the house clean, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horrible book start to finish. Can't believe I wasted hard earned money on this spoiled snob's rant about moving to the "country"...she belongs in the city, where she is just another nameless face that can't, and shouldn't be heard... I thought this would be another lovely look at learning to live off the land and getting back to nature, gardening, wildlife. I could not have been more mistaken! This was so far removed from the normal person's reality, it was a shame harmless trees were destroyed to print it. Shame on the publisher, but lucky for Family Circle to be rid of her.
PaintedSpots More than 1 year ago
As someone who has grown up in the country and loved it this book is very off base. I could not get into it. Who payed to have this published and to think she has 2! I am glad I got it from my emedia library and did not buy this. Sounds like she needs to go back to the city. All she does it talk about how bad it was to move there, not wear heels and no starbucks. I hope she knows who dumb she sounds in this book.
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I just couldn't get into this book. I thought some of the footnotes were funny, but then they distracted me from the story. Maybe I was just too something shiny?
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Shafe More than 1 year ago
Funny from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being in similar "shoes" as Susan, I can totally relate to the changes one makes of a new life on the farm. I haven't stopped laughing as I too have been known to visit the cows wearing my very best footware!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read a memoir for school and I picked this one off the shelf thinking it would be like every other boring life story. I was literally reading it in class cracking up and my instructor ended up reading it later on. Great book. Light-hearted and funny while still telling a good story. Very easy to read and easy to relate to. Laugh out loud funny and excited to read the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl is Susan McCorkindale's hilarious account of ditching the city for the sticks. It's chick lit at its laugh out loud funniest. Don't miss it.
Enthused_Reader More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. I began and could not pull myself away from it!
Melysse More than 1 year ago
I picked up Susan McCorkindale's humorous memoir on a whim, largely because the blurb on the back cover mentioned something about living miles away from any Starbucks. As someone who has had that experience, and who considers "roughing it" to be a hotel that has neither wifi nor room service, I thought it would be something I'd enjoy. I was not disappointed. This book is McCorkindale's snarky spin on what happens when a girl from New Jersey leaves her cushy job as the head of marketing for a well-known magazine, and moves, with her testosterone-laden husband and sons, to a farm in West Virginia. From her comments on local couture (or lack thereof) to her tales of catalog shopping for beauty aids, bikinis, and (later) chickens, everything is hilarious, but it's hilarity tempered by her obvious love of her family. While this book is probably best enjoyed by women with children, or women who regularly read Family Circle, there's enough in it for those of us who only have dogs to enjoy.