October 2013Have you ever dreamed of moving to rural Vermont? Imagined the good life away from traffic, noise, and the difficulties of city life? Stimson and her husband did exactly that, moving from St. Louis with children and dogs and cats in tow. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Mud Season is the story of their immersion into a small town populated with crusty Vermonters who view 'flatlanders' with a combination of suspicion and amusement. This is a funny, self-deprecating memoir of making a new life in a beautiful place. -- Ellen Burns, Books On The Common, Ridgefield, CT
In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson's transition from city life to rickety Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, pop. 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the country, she learns the hard way that "improvements" are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they'd always been. She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they're boycotting the store. Why? "The bread," they tell her, "you moved the bread from where it used to be." Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?
Follow the author to her wit's end and back, through her full immersion into rural life--swapping high heels for muck boots; raising chickens and sheep; fighting off skunks, foxes, and bears; and making a few friends and allies in a tiny town steeped in history, local tradition, and that dyed-in-the-wool Vermont "character."
Praise for Mud Season…
"Stimson’s debut memoir of her first few years in Dorset reads like Erma Bombeck meets E. B. White (with a dash of Elizabeth Gilbert thrown in). She’s a natural storyteller and openhearted lover of her family, her animals, her big chaotic life."
"Ellen Stimson is funny. Darned funny. And she knows how to spin a good, old-fashioned yarn."
"Get your schadenfreude ready. Stimson’s fish-out-of-water memoir is chockablock with self-deprecating, belly-laughable vignettes."
Booklist Starred Review
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR GOOD GRIEF!
“This is my favorite kind of book—a messy, loving, bubbling over at the edges family, replete with exes, dogs, and the tender heart of love and loss. A must-read, never-forget story.”
Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak, Finding Casey, and Owen's Daughter
“I laughed and cried the whole way through this marvelous, moving, and, above all, joyful book. A chronicle of the further adventures of Ellen Stimson’s eminently lovable family, Good Grief is a lesson in love and loss. It’s impossible not to cheer this gang on.”
Julia Reed, author of But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry
“Imagine Jerry Seinfeld and Annie Dillard on the dance floor, gliding gracefully from keenly observed humor to contemplative insight. When the music ends, you feel grateful, lighter, and more compassionate. That dance is Ellen Stimson’s Good Grief—Good Grief taught me to laugh harder and to love better "
BK Loren, author of Theft and Animal, Mineral, Radical
“Both hilarious and poignant, Stimson spins the tales of her ever-eventful small-town Vermont life with a self-effacing, smart, and heart-touching honesty that will make you feel as if you are sitting across from her at her (burned) dining room table—and wishing so much that you really were!”
Suzanne McMinn, author of Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor