Review of the Good Life
Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient
Living --- if you like our website, you should go read this book
because it's the real deal. It took me weeks to figure out what I
loved about it, and then it came to me. Of course --- they lived
my dream, and didn't start watering it down as they grew older.
They just kept living it until Scott died at the ripe old age of
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committed suicide through a six week fast, which doesn't sound quite
like the good life to me. Other parts of their book also put me
off --- I can understand being a vegan, but I think it's harsh to call
house cats slaves. The Nearings believed in community,
but weren't willing to give a little to get on with their
neighbors. (I haven't read it, but one of their neighbors
Next Door to the Good Life, about the difficulties of living next
door.) Personally, I don't think I would have gotten along with
the Nearings in real life.
But their book is full of tasty tidbits, like maple syruping and
growing blueberries to round out their livelihood. I was
astonished that they were able to grow nearly all of their food in the
mountains of Vermont with only three frost free months per year --- and
the possibility of frost even during the height of summer.
When it comes
right down to it, Mark and I are opinionated idealist loners too (or at
least I am.) That's part of what sent us back to the land.
It's nice to have the space and freedom to be wacky --- and Helen and
Scott Nearing certainly had that.