rural life {mini reviews}

I read quite a few books in the past two months, and I still haven't posted all of the reviews! So here are a few, which, coincidentally, all share the theme of farms and rural life. The first is a YA, the second adult fiction, and the third nonfiction. None of them, sadly, involve dragons, although there are horses in the second one listed, so we will forgive that novel for its lack of flying reptiles. And I like farming, so there is that, too. Enjoy!

Holding Up the Earth
by Dianne E. Gray

This beautiful novel weaves together seamlessly the lives of five girls, belonging to very different generations, tied together by a farm and, more specifically, a meadow. Some of the gripping, emotional stories are told through letters or journals, which sometimes felt unrealistically detailed. But those details do add much-appreciated color. Hope, the main character, is very relatable, as are the other four girls, for that matter.

4/5 leaves

Riding Lessons
by Sara Gruen

I found the premise of this novel interesting -- a horse book with family issues and a dash of romance -- but for almost the entire novel, Annemarie, the main character, acts like an insufferable child. There are no moments (until the end) where she behaves like an adult, which makes her very difficult to relate to. All of her decisions were rash and irrational. By the end, though, she seems a decent human being, and I almost want to read the next book -- mostly to follow the supporting characters (Dan, Eva, Mutti...).

2/5 leaves

The Hills is Lonely
by Lillian Beckwith

This is a hilarious portrait of a small, quaint, Scottish island village in all of its quirkiness. I wonder how many of the stories really are true, and to what extent -- they were all just so funny! Unfortunately, the author seemed to lack much respect for the people who live in the village, as they're all portrayed as being rather backwards. And I could have done with a dose of seriousness now and again as well as some form of a plot.

3/5 leaves

Have you ever continued a series simply to follow the supporting characters? And what do you think -- does nonfiction require a plot?


  1. Holding Up the Earth sounds very good!
    UGH I CANNOT STAND IMMATURE PROTAGONISTS. Especially in a horse story....ugh, I can just picture it. *buries face in hands*

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. It is good! I definitely recommend it. And yeah, I was a little wary of Riding Lessons, since there are very few good horse books, especially for adults. At least I wasn't disappointed... :)

  2. Holding up the Earth does sound very interesting. Relatable characters = good book in general, in my opinion! I would also like to read The Hills is Lonely someday; I like quirky books, and I don't know why, but I get this feeling that I might like this one quite a bit! I'll have to check and see if the library here might have this title.

    1. Yes, you should look into both of them -- they're each very unique, and I really enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. HOlding up Earth seems to be a good book! The second one seems interesting, but not my kind of a book

    1. Holding Up the Earth is great! And I really wanted to like Riding Lessons, but like you said, not my kind of book. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I always wonder that about nonfiction...like I've read some memoirs that REALLY had no plot but were still good and I've always wondered if there's just a different set of rules for them?! :P
    AGh that second book sounds insufferably irritating. :O But the first one intrigues me!! I shall go goodreads it. ;D

    1. Hmmm... yes, I suppose memoirs don't necessarily need a plot. But this book was just a whole pile of vignettes almost, and I started to lose interest a little towards the end, even though all of the stories were hilarious.

      Holding up the Earth is very good!