I don’t often read memoir, but this read for my book club was funny, quick and interesting. “Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet,” by Catherine Friend, is her memoir about raising a small flock of sheep with her partner on a farm in Minnesota.
It’s a very quick read, probably a good vacation book. The chapters are short, and the book is divided up into five parts, though even then it’s only 255 pages long. She covers her experience with sheep, living on a farm, hitting middle age, dealing with “fiber freaks” and learning how to knit. She’s a funny writer who draws clever similarities between events.
My favorite anecdote in the novel … well, there are two. The first is when she finally realizes Elvis is dead and never coming back (decades after his death), causing an emotional meltdown. The second is when she finally succeeds at knitting socks, using wool from her own sheep, and is so proud she hoists her socked foot onto a store counter to show off.
Friend talks a lot about lambs in this book, both bringing them into the world and caring for them. Despite how hard it sounds, the lambs sound so cute it kind of makes me want to befriend some. So of course, I ended up spending far too much time on YouTube looking up videos of lambs playing. Avoid that hole. You’ll never get out.
She also talks quite a bit about the history of sheep, the history of wool and the environmental impact of both wool and other commonly used fibers. I did learn things I didn’t know, and the book might make you want to search out more wool for your wardrobe. Were I a knitter, I’d switch to wool yarn and avoid acrylic as much as possible. But I’ve tried. I am not a knitter.
Anyone interested in farming, sheep, knitting or even the environment would probably like this book. It’s a nice, quick read if you need something during an upcoming vacation.