At Home in Dogwood Mudhole - TOS Review

Friday, November 15, 2013

When I was offered the book At Home In Dogwood Mudhole to review by Frank Sanders I was intrigued.  I downloaded the sample chapter & was immediately engrossed.  Since we are an ex-city family turned country bumpkins also,  I could relate to much of the contents.  I immediately affirmed that I would love to review this product! I received At Home In Dogwood Mudhole  Volume One: Nothing that Eats in pdf format which I downloaded to my Ipad.
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At Home In Dogwood Mudhole is a collection of short stories originally written by Franklin Sanders for his Moneychanger Newsletter. It is the story of his family & their transition from the city to farm life.  Referred to as "an agrarian epic", Mr Sanders welcomes readers into their lives with his witty humour & talented story telling.  The Sanders family includes Mr Sanders, his supportive wife & their seven children.  Throughout the book sons & daughters-in-laws are welcomed into their midst & the family continues to grow as grandchildren are added!  At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing that Eats begins in 1995 and spans over 7 years to 2002.  It is the first in a 3 book series with the third yet to be released.  Reading this book reminded me of reading through a blog (yes, I am guilty of reading certain blogs from start to finish as I love to read the true story of the writer).  Each small tale contains a different story or topic as each post would, yet they are all woven together with common themes, characters & settings.  
Image Source: At Home In Dogwood Mudhole
The Sanders family are a Christian, American Family from Tennesee.  They take their history very seriously & were heavily involved in the civil war re-enactment scene.  At the start of the book is several tales of various re-enactments surrounded by enchanting stories about their children, animals & general life.  The Sanders took the  looming Y2K threats seriously & this was the pivotal reason they moved to their farm at Dogwood Mudhole in mid 1999. Whatever the reason they moved, the stories from their farm were so engaging that I had troubles putting the book down.  From the 'Demon Cow' (I think we have her sister here at Sunnyside) to 'The stupidest animals in the world' (sheep) I was completely engrossed. Although we live in an entirely different continent, there was so many parallels between the Sanders country adventures & our own that I could not help but fall in love with this book. Living on the farm ourselves and trying so many new things with very little knowledge or advice, I could relate to the Sanders adventures with very similar outcomes to our own.  When it came to their pig, chicken, sheep & cow  adventures ( & definitely the milking...) I was in fits of laughter .  I cannot wait to share this book with Dave so we don't feel so alone in the mistakes we make!

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Mr Sanders is very articulate and writes beautifully, yet there is no pride within the contents of his book.  He is a man who loves his God, loves his country, loves his family & loves his life.  He is brave enough to be honest about his own faults, yet will fight relentlessly when he sees injustice.  He is obviously well loved & he leads his family well.  This story left lingering the wish of a multi-generational farm for our own family ( & made me miss even more our parents).  I did however feel entirely encouraged that we are not alone in this crazy, agrarian lifestyle we have chosen!

I will admit to my discredit (but because I want to write a balanced review), I found the beginning of the book rather difficult to get into.  I am Australian & I have enough troubles keeping the states of America sorted (please don't ever test me).  When different towns & cities were mentioned I was completely lost.  The civil war sections were not relevant & the small town businesses he mentions are not useful to me ( although I love that he includes them as I believe very strongly in supporting small, local businesses). I had not idea anyone actually took Y2K seriously & was rather surprised (& mildly entertained) by this.  At one point I almost put the book down. I am so glad I had to read it through for the review because had I discontinued reading  I would have missed the gems contained further within the pages.  Once I finished I realised that Mr Sanders added those beginning stories as they introduce the real Sanders family to the readers ( & don't worry, they found good use for their Y2K food...).

Image Source: At Home In Dogwood Mudhole
At Home in Dogwood Mudhole left me thoroughly loving this lifestyle we (& they) have chosen.  It encouraged me that we are not alone when things go wrong ( or pigs escape....again).  It also encouraged me to stand strong for the Lord! 

are both available for purchase from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole for $22.95 each in paperback or $16.95 each in kindle/epub/PDF format. (Sample chapters are available at their website).
I know someone who may be receiving these for Christmas.....shhh...

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole Volume Three: The Sage of Dogwood Mudhole is scheduled for release in the near future.

To read other crew reviews please visit:

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