What I’m Reading: Flat Broke with Two Goats

I just finished the audio book Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha.  I found this book via my new Hoopla account.  I told you about Hoopla before but I’ll say something about them again.  They are library affiliated.  The thing I love about them more than I like about my regular online library is that ALL of the books, audio books, video and music selections are available IMMEDIATELY.  There is no wait list and users are allowed to keep the items for three weeks (I think)…anyway, I don’t feel rushed when I listen.  I don’t get annoyed by waiting MONTHS for the book to become available and the items are FREE!!  What is not to love?


Being Hoopla has these features, Kayla and I were able to listen to a book at about the same time.  We both listened to this book.  It was fun to be able to chat about what we thought about the book….kind of a book club type conversation and I loved that.  Here is a link to Hoopla.  If you are interested in on line library check to see if it’s offered in your area.  For me it wasn’t offered close to me so I drove an hour and got a library card from the library.

So back to the book…what did I think?

Hmmm.  Kayla and I both decided that we thought the author was hard for us to relate to.  A quick little overview:  The couple in the book ends up having to file bankruptcy.  The husband in the book makes a six figure income and the wife is a part time adjunct professor.  Well that all was immediately REALLY hard to relate to.  They made choice like putting their kids in a private high school and paid for the kids’ college.  I felt like say….DUH!  Quit paying for the schooling.

Beyond that I found the book to be kind of funny at times…kind of sad at times.  Kayla said that she almost quit the book a couple of times but stuck with it.  I never felt that way.  I think it has something to do with me being older and in the same state as Jennifer, of wanting to look back at things that happened when I was younger and see how they molded me into what I am today.  Kayla just isn’t that age.

Here’s what Amazon had to say:Jennifer McGaha never expected to own a goat named Merle. Or to be setting Merle up on dates and naming his doeling Merlene. She didn’t expect to be buying organic yogurt for her chickens. She never thought she would be pulling camouflage carpet off her ceiling or rescuing opossums from her barn and calling it “date night.” Most importantly, Jennifer never thought she would only have $4.57 in her bank account.

When Jennifer discovered that she and her husband owed back taxes―a lot of back taxes―her world changed. Now desperate to save money, they foreclosed on their beloved suburban home and moved their family to a one-hundred-year-old cabin in a North Carolina holler. Soon enough, Jennifer’s life began to more closely resemble her Appalachian ancestors than her upper-middle-class upbringing. But what started as a last-ditch effort to settle debts became a journey that revealed both the joys and challenges of living close to the land.

Told with bold wit, unflinching honesty, and a firm foot in the traditions of Appalachia, Flat Broke with Two Goats blends stories of homesteading with the journey of two people rediscovering the true meaning of home.”

Amazon readers give the book 3.9 stars.  I think that’s about where I would put it….Kayla said less.  For one, nothing was really resolved.  The couple had marital problems..nothing was said that they were over…the book never really had an ending-that wasn’t as terrible as some books but it could really use a better ending…..  I read an review on Amazon as I was writing this and the person said, “As a fellow owner of livestock, I enjoyed the animal stories of this book. I just couldn’t get past the irresponsible financial parts of the author. I haven’t walked in her shoes and I’m not judging, but throughout the whole book it was one stupid financial decision after another. You have no money for food and gas, but you buy a goat. You have no money, but you still get your hair done and go to dental appointments. You have no money and owe the government, but you quit your job and go back to school on a government loan. Where is the fiscally responsibly. Loved the animals, intensely disliked the humans.”  She said it EXACTLY how I felt.