Back To The Prairie

by Melissa Gilbert

Kirkus The veteran actor’s latest memoir chronicles the pastoral life she and her husband, actor/director Timothy Busfield, lived during the early days of the pandemic. In 2020, Gilbert and Busfield left their New York City apartment to live full time in their rural “Cabbage,” a cross between a cabin and a cottage. They renovated the house, started raising chickens, and began farming the land, all while trying to adjust to the slower pace of life outside of Manhattan. That transition began in 2013, when they married and moved to Michigan. “Life was simple, personal, intimate, and very different from LA,” writes Gilbert. “I melted right into the slow lane.” Of course, that did not last for long. The author got involved in the Michigan governor’s race and then became a Democratic candidate for Congress, though she had to drop out of the race due to the return of a neck injury and recurring chronic pain—not to mention the vagaries of politics, which included up to eight hours each day “dialing for dollars.” However, the bulk of her book is about the couple’s move to the country and what they learned there during the pandemic. “Maybe all the time in the country has made me more philosophical….We are being given an opportunity to see the consequences of our disregard for our home and each other,” writes the author. “We are being asked what really matters. What do we need to do to survive into the future?” Via breezy, seemingly effortless storytelling, Gilbert shows us how less can be more, fashioning a rapidly paced, straightforward tale about slowing down into life in quarantine and the opportunities that presented. “If I can help make someone feel less isolated, scared, or lonely,” she writes, “I am doing my job.” A sparse, lovely ode to the discovery of the simple life amid a global pandemic. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Actor Gilbert (Prairie Tale) leaves Hollywood behind for life in the country in this utterly entertaining account. With her characteristic wit and self-deprecating charm, Gilbert—best known for her role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie—takes readers on a ride through the highs and lows of her recent life with her husband, actor and West Wing alum Timothy Busfield. A few years after an eventful (practice) run for Congress in Michigan in 2015, she and Tim purchased a run-down house in upstate New York. Just as they had finished rehabbing their little home, the pandemic hit, forcing the two actors to fully commit to rustic life, which included building a chicken coop, raising chicks (“I was a motherclucker”), and gardening. Hilariously recounting their new life “on a DIY budget,” Gilbert writes, “We were the aspiring Chip and Joanna Gaines of the Catskills.” While decrying pandemic pounds, Gilbert peppers in delicious recipes for comfort food staples that saw her through her rockier days, such as slow cooker “loaded baked potato soup,” spaghetti pie, and gingersnap pumpkin pie. Along the way, she delights in the little things that came from hunkering down, revealing that she’s not above such simple joys as Trader Joe’s stuffing-flavored potato chips. Fans will have no trouble devouring this. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

214 Main Street Hanlontown, IA 50444  |  Phone: 641-896-2888
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)