Thursday, August 10, 2006

Everyman's Rules For Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany

Set in Australia, this spare novel follows the progress of the "Better Farming Train" that travels around the country teaching men and women the agricultural and domestic arts during at the start of the Great Depression. The narrator, Jean, is drawn to a scientific, scholarly agrostologist who can identify soil by taste. Together they embark on an experiment in farming that is almost as difficult to navigate as marriage is for these two unusual characters. In turn hopeful and heartbreaking, this is a lovely spare novel that reflects the somber, yet hopeful, mood of a young woman starting her adult life with the man she has chosen during a great depression.

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