The Shepherd’s Life: A People’s History of the Lake District by James Rebanks

This is a lovely memoirs with a perspective that is not often featured in the mainstream media or in stories. It is written by a shepherd who is well educated and uses modern technology, but farms in a traditional way.

I do like sheep. As a knitter, I know more about wool and sheep than the average westerner. By my desk at my parents’ home, I have a poster of Ontario sheep breeds. I got it at a sheep festival where I also saw sheepdog show. Sheepdogs are amazing when well trained. So I am a bit of a sheep nerd. I have utmost respect for shepherds as a result.

This whole book was fascinating and I found it relatable to me since my parents grew up in rural areas. I do romanticize it a bit and I don’t know if I could fully commit to rural life the way the author does. However, I can understand his connection the land. I found his prose simple, but powerful. I understood his background and perspective. The writing felt honest and not that judgmental. It felt beautifully raw. I hope to read more books from Rebanks in the future.

Read February 8-10, 2016.

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