Nov 5, 2009

See You In A Hundred Years

See You In A Hundred Years by Logan Ward

My rating: 5 stars

Quick overview: To save their marriage and their sanity, the author and his wife sold their belongings, packed up their two-year-old son, and moved to a rundown farmhouse in the country without any plans past surviving the year. Living as though it were the year 1900, they struggled with recalcitrant livestock, garden-destroying bugs, rain that would not come, and their own insecurities, to ultimately discover a sense of community and a sense of themselves that changed not only their marriage, but the entire Swoope, Virginia community. Lyrically told and powerfully evocative, this memoir for the modern age deals with the growing sense of disassociation and yearning to escape the frenetic pace of daily life in today's society. (from

Highly highly highly recommend. I would not ordinarily have picked up this book, but my boss (a former English major and fellow bibliophile), brought it in for me because he read it and loved it and thought I might enjoy it as well. He was correct. The premise peaked my interest, the author's writing kept me attentive, and before I knew it I couldn't put it down!

There are things Logan and Heather (his wife) did that I wouldn't even have thought of - like hmm, using a porta-potty, but having enough mulch to put in the porta-potty so it doesn't smell. Or making sure there are enough matches in different places in the house to light the oil lanterns in the morning when it's still dark - or how they even wake up at a certain time because there were no alarms clocks. Or making sure they guy who brings the feed for the animals comes monthly because the only way they can get in touch with him is through the mail (no phones).

Besides all the obstacles they come across in this story (for instance, learning to drive a wagon with a quarter horse, and how to make three meals a day seven days a week on a wood burning stove), there was a lot more depth and humbleness than I was expecting. I tagged a few different passages because I was just blown away at the lesson in the middle of their experience.

"Just as I'm feeling more in control, I'm also learning to admit that I'm powerless over some things...Sure, the worst that can happen to us pales in comparison to the worst that could have happened to a farm family 100 years ago. They were stuck in 1900. We're not. But I'm not convinced our situation's all that different. Everyone faces uncertainty. At some point, you've got to let life run its course, surrendering control in the face of overwhelming events." (Pg. 110)

I kept having to remind myself that this was a memoir, not a novel. I was truly touched by this story, and there were times that I wanted to do the same thing Logan and Heather did - because of the perspective they have about life now and the memories they created with this experience. The community they found in Swoope (right near where my sister goes to college - how cool is that?), was almost breahtaking to read about sometimes. This book hugged my heart - just thinking about it makes me smile.

I'm going to leave you with another line I tagged from the book - something so simple, yet powerful, and a good summation of their year in 1900. "By respecting the past, we can live a more meaningful present - and future." (Pg. 229)

(Photo: ffffound)


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Lovely review! This is going on my to-reads list! Sounds awesome.

Kind of in some ways reminds me of this book I read a couple of years ago - I need to look up the title but it is basically about a family that sold everything and did an around the world trip w/ their young children. Obviously the struggles were completely different, but it was a year of self-discovery for them when they only had each other to rely upon.

Holly said...

Hey girl! Just wanted to let you know you won the custom frame from Scrapin' Sara!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Sounds' really good.

Nicole said...

Great review. It sounds like an interesting book. I love the quote you left at the end.

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