One of three siblings, all girls, my friend Holly took over the family dairy farm. She had always worked on the farm, side-by-side with her dad and so when the time came, she did what she had to do. She ran the farm by herself for many years before she eventually sold it.
You might think, “So what?” Well, farming, along with fishing, is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. It is also physically demanding and emotionally draining (as family farms are no longer cherished in favor of the corporate farm). In addition, farming, like fishing, is one of the industries which made the United States what it is. It is a noble profession. It’s also lonely and difficult to do alone.
I thought of Holly the whole time I read Linda Greenlaw’s memoir The Lobster Chronicles, and not just because Linda as a one time swordfish boat captain and then lobster fisherman also made her way successfully through a male-dominated, dangerous job, but because the two of them–Holly and Linda–share some similar characteristics: independence, sense of humor, and an ability to tell a wicked good story.
I loved reading The Lobster Chronicles, which depict a lobstering season on Isle au Haut, Maine, where Greenlaw and her family have lived for generations. This book held my interest from start to finish and with her wry sense of humor and self-deprecation, Linda Greenlaw totally won me over. She’s a damn good storyteller and also a fine writer.
On a side note: as I was finishing this book yesterday, Allen showed me a piece in The Boston Globe about the new cookbook Greenlaw and her mother have our, Recipes from a Very Small Island.