Reviews for Frontier Follies

by Ree Drummond

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In this celebration of rural America, web celeb Drummond, aka “The Pioneer Woman,” tells warm-hearted stories. The food blogger-turned-Food Network star dedicates this humor-laced tale to her “funny family.” She and Ladd, her “hunky husband,” got off to a rocky start, contending with such rural Oklahoman realities as bobcats in the trash, skunks under the house, mice in the walls, and a tornado. They scare each other with rubber snakes, give up things like Dr. Pepper for Lent, and homeschool their kids. Endearingly, Drummond pokes fun at herself, noting that her cowboy husband weighs the same as he did in college while, as for her, she says, “No comment!” In one self-deprecating episode, she thinks a sushi chef wants her autograph, only to discover he actually just wants her to sign the credit-card receipt. As for family, her refined-looking mother-in-law matter-of-factly recounts a story about a bull who couldn’t walk because his “dick was frozen to the ground,” and her brother-in-law prepares fried calf nuts. Drummond makes it all seems wholesome. Grab a root beer and prepare to grin.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

More anecdotal tales from the Pioneer Woman. Best known for her cookbooks and Food Network show, Drummond offers readers a glimpse into her personal life with her family and animals on her Oklahoma ranch. Her latest book, she writes, is “a silly celebration of the everyday moments of my life in rural America, and every single story you’ll read is true.” It is not, she admits, “a sustained narrative, except in the sense that love is woven throughout.” In these vignettes spanning more than two decades, the author recounts a variety of mildly amusing stories: spooking her husband, Ladd, with a rubber snake, as well as the reciprocal tricks he plays on her; why she does the dishes when they argue; nicknames for each other; and lists of 20 interesting things about each of them (“I could sleep in a bed of crumbs and never notice”). On a more serious note, Drummond discusses motherhood and home schooling, the problems with summer on a cattle ranch, and struggling with a sound disorder called misophonia. It’s not long, however, before the author is right back to humorous tales about cows, including the castration of young bulls and how to prepare the testicles. Drummond includes a few recipes, but her aim here is less about instruction than about sharing her lifestyle, which she does with a conversational, sometimes overly cutesy tone. She also includes lists of what foods to stockpile, the names of the horses on the ranch, and why her prized rosebush died: “My poor, beloved plant had experienced death by urine, also known as nitrogen burn….Ladd had killed my rosebush by peeing on it repeatedly.” Overall, the author offers a scattered yet well-rounded portrait of her life behind the TV show and cookbooks. Sure to please Drummond’s many fans but may not convert those unfamiliar with the Pioneer Woman. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.