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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In her uplifting, humorous memoir Chainsaws and Cherry Burls, Jennifer Neves interlaces intimate thoughts, parenting experiences, and her family’s interaction with nature on their 42-acre farm in rural Maine. The work is a collection of hilarious parenting misadventures which include the couple’s attempts at understanding and discouraging their son’s fascination with leeches, paying bounties to encourage mice trapping, and an unfortunate encounter with a skunk. The book documents the beautiful and intriguing workings of nature on the farm. Neves also opens up about the complexities of motherhood including the fatigue that results from always remaining attentive and her nagging worries about possible danger. Wonderful moments are blended with life-defining ones resulting in a book that is full of heart, joy, and impactful lessons.
The memoir is filled with many entertaining anecdotes that make it hard to put it down. Its rich descriptions of the animals and foliage found on the farm bring the setting to life. I loved the light-heartedness and appreciated the author’s vulnerability and deep insight into parenting. I found the way that the family handles the challenges they face to be funny and inspiring and enjoyed their interactions. Chainsaws and Cherry Burls by Jennifer Neves is an engaging memoir that captures the beauty in nature and everyday life. It includes many laugh-out-loud scenes and deeply personal ones. Parents will resonate with Neves and her husband’s adventures and readers will love the unpredictability of life on the farm, the lessons learned along the way, and the many joys the family encountered in their daily life.