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The Farm in the Green Mountains

The Farm in the Green Mountains

Sandy: This one is in my top 20 books of all time.  It's a memoir written by a refugee of Nazi Germany who luckily had good friends in Vermont and settled there on a farm, except she (an actress, wife and mother) and her playwright husband knew nothing about farming.  Her wry style, intelligence and simple gritty determination had me from page one; she is never self-sorry as together she and her family learn (largely from PAMPHLETS sent them in the mail by request from the United States government on topics like how to build a pig sty) to make a life on a farm. READ THIS BOOK.

The Farm in the Green Mountains is a story of a refugee family finding its true home--thousands of miles from its homeland.

Alice and Carl Zuckmayer lived at the center of Weimar era Berlin. She was a former actor turned medical student, he was a playwright, and their circle of friends included Stefan Zweig, Alma Mahler, and Bertolt Brecht. But then the Nazis took over and Carl's most recent success, a play satirizing German militarism, impressed them in all the wrong ways. The couple and their two daughters were forced to flee, first to Austria, then to Switzerland, and finally to the United States. Los Angeles didn't suit them, neither did New York, but a chance stroll in the Vermont woods led them to Backwoods Farm and the eighteenth-century farmhouse where they would spend the next five years. In Europe, the Zuckmayers were accustomed to servants; in Vermont, they found themselves building chicken coops, refereeing fights between fractious ducks, and caring for temperamental water pipes "like babies." But in spite of the endless work and the brutal, depressing winters, Alice found that in America she had at last discovered her "native land." This generous, surprising, and witty memoir, a best seller in postwar Germany, has all the charm of an unlikely romantic comedy.

Publication Date: 
May 2, 2017