Monday, May 11, 2020

The Rural Diaries: What Moving to Mischief Farm Taught Me About What Really Matters in Life, Love, and Making Dandelion Wine by Hilarie Burton

The beloved actress and star of One Tree Hill, White Collar, and Lethal Weapon, Hilarie Burton, tells the inspiring story of leaving Hollywood for a radically different kind of life in upstate New York with her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan—a celebration of community, family, and the value of hard work in small town America.

While Hilarie Burton’s hectic lifestyle as an actress in New York and Los Angeles gave her a comfortable life, it did not fulfill her spiritually or emotionally. After the birth of their first son, she and her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the star of The Walking Dead, decided to make a major change: they bought a working farm in Rhinebeck, New York, and began a new chapter in their lives.

The Rural Diaries chronicles her inspiring story of farm life: chopping wood, making dandelion wine, building chicken coops. Burton looks back at her transition from urban to country living—discovering how to manage a farm while raising her son and making friends with her new neighbors. She mixes charming stories of learning to raise alpacas and buying and revitalizing the town’s beloved candy store, Samuel’s Sweet Shoppe with good friend Paul Rudd and his wife Julie, with raw observations on the ups and downs of marriage and her struggles with infertility. Burton also includes delicious recipes that can be made with fresh ingredients at home.

Burton’s charisma, wide eyed attitude, and fortitude—both internal and physical—propels this moving story of transformation and self-discovery. The Rural Diaries honors the values and lifestyle of small-town America and offers inspiration for anyone longing to embark on their own unconventional journey.

The Rural Diaries includes 16 pages of color photographs.

My Rating - 5 Stars!

The Rural Diaries is an emotional and heart-felt autobiography by actress Hilarie Burton Morgan. Having loved her acting on One Tree Hill and White Collar, I was excited to get a chance to review this book. 

The beauty of this book lies in the fact that, although it is a memoir, it never feels like the typical autobiography.

The author delves into a whole lot of personal issues, that had me compelled and emotional drained throughout. She discusses the sexual abuse problems in Hollywood, and far too many issues she and her husband, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, experienced with struggling to become pregnant, miscarriages, and more. She had me shedding many tears on her behalf. I cried about the abuse. I cried about the pregnancy problems. I cried about the effects her fertility issues had on her relationship. And I cried about her ability to overcome all her hardships. 

Hilarie brilliantly brings the atmosphere of small town America to the reader. I personally love the way that she found herself, as well as love and peace, by being in a small town and one with the land. Being personally familiar with small towns in Upstate NY, she perfectly brings all the beauty, isolation, and sense of community that exist in such places to light. 

If you are a fan of Hilarie or her husband Jeff, this book is a must read. If you're a fan of memoirs, this is a must read. And if you are a fan of raw and real memoirs, this is a must read. 

The Rural Diaries is an open and honest look at life in a small town. Hilarie shows her bravery in opening up about her flaws, her struggles, and how life as an actress, and life as the wife of an actor, comes with many downfalls. It is both a wonderful story that is well written and absolutely compelling. 

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