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Review: Bootstrapper

September 24, 2013


When Mardi Jo Link comes home to find her husband smoking an illegal substance in their garage, she decides she’d had enough and asked for a divorce.  He moves across the street while she remains in the house with their three boys.  Things aren’t easy for her, though.  As a freelance writer, she doesn’t make much money and she refuses to ask for help, saying

I made this bed and I’ll either lie in it or die in it, but I won’t ask anyone for help.

Link isn’t afraid of hard work, though, and rolls up her sleeves and digs in.  She is inventive and clever and, even when things don’t go her way, generally finds a way to make things work for her family, managing to see the lighter side of life even in the roughest times.

Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm is Link’s memoir of the year she gets divorced and, with her ever present optimism, saves her land and remembers what she really values in life.  It’s a quiet book and not particularly remarkable, but I liked it.  Maybe it’s because I found Link so appealing.  She’s passionate, honest, and determined.  She loves her land and will do just about anything to keep it.

Karen White does a fantastic job narrating the audio version of Bootstrapper – she was Link in my mind as I listened to this 8 and a half hour audio book.  I recommend this book to those who enjoy memoirs.

I won this book in a contest on Home Cooked Books.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
25 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2013 5:49 am

    Funny about the across the street thing. That is, funny how that sort of almost just symbolic act is necessary when you have all that anger and betrayal and stuff going on.

  2. September 24, 2013 6:07 am

    Adding it to my list, Kathy. I have to find out how she got herself through that time. Can’t imagine doing it with him living across the street though.

  3. sandynawrot permalink
    September 24, 2013 6:19 am

    What I like about the sound of this one is that there are so many women in this predicament…I can imagine how inspirational the story would be for them. Or any woman for that matter.

  4. lab1990 permalink
    September 24, 2013 6:38 am

    Sounds like one tough lady! Might be a bit too quiet for me though.

    Lauren from

  5. September 24, 2013 8:16 am

    Across the street sounds vindictive almost.

  6. talesofwhimsy permalink
    September 24, 2013 9:25 am

    Sounds interesting. Is it terrible that I reallly want to know what he was smoking?

  7. Patty permalink
    September 24, 2013 12:33 pm

    This sounds like a whale of a tale!

  8. September 24, 2013 3:11 pm

    Sounds good…thanks.

  9. September 24, 2013 4:02 pm

    Sounds like a really good book.

  10. September 24, 2013 5:04 pm

    This sounds like a memoir that depicts a quiet strength. Wonderful review, Kathy!

  11. September 24, 2013 6:29 pm

    Mardi Jo sounds like a tough cookie, good for her. This sounds like an interesting memoir!

  12. September 24, 2013 7:59 pm

    I too love the moving across the street bit, sounds like a pleasant read.

  13. September 24, 2013 8:26 pm

    Might have to check it out…. great review!

  14. September 24, 2013 10:11 pm

    Thanks for the great review! I’m loving memoirs and audiobooks lately, so this sounds right up my alley 🙂

  15. September 25, 2013 1:38 am

    I haven’t heard of this one, but I love a good memoir.

  16. September 25, 2013 8:14 am

    Can’t imagine an ex living across the street, but this sounds like a good book. Adding to my list…

  17. September 25, 2013 9:36 am

    i don’t read a lot of memoirs, but this sounds interesting.

  18. September 25, 2013 1:53 pm

    This sounds good although I sure wouldn’t want my ex living across the street. I’ve been enjoying more memoirs lately and this one will go on the list.

  19. September 25, 2013 2:59 pm

    wow the ex across the street?!? that would be too weird!

  20. September 25, 2013 5:44 pm

    Yes, the across the street thing is weird, but I find the thought of raising three boys on a freelance salary terrifying!

  21. September 25, 2013 7:15 pm

    Love the sound of this one. I don’t usually enjoy memoirs but this one sounds like a good one for the car.

  22. September 26, 2013 12:40 am

    The premise sounds interesting. The ex moving right across the street. Thanks for your review.

  23. Beth F permalink
    September 26, 2013 7:11 am

    I love northern Michigan, so that alone makes me interested. Glad the audio is good.

  24. September 26, 2013 1:58 pm

    I’m not much of a memoir reader and this doesn’t really strike me. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.

  25. bookingmama permalink
    September 30, 2013 7:31 am

    I bet listening to this one added to your enjoyment!

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