An epistolary tale. I admit, when I read that phrase I had to look up the word epistolary in the dictionary which means “of, pertaining to, or consisting of letters.” That word perfectly describes how the book series, At Home In Dogwood Mudhole was written. This book of letters spanning 17 years, was authored by Franklin Sanders who also publishes a newsletter called The Moneychanger. At Home In Dogwood Mudhole is a 3 volume set that describes Franklin and his wife Susan’s pursuit to live an authentic life with their family, and go back to living off the land like his forefathers.
The first volume in the series is called, Nothing That Eats. Nothing that eats? That is the wish of Susan Sanders as they make the decision to make major life changes. She tells everyone that they cannot acquire anything that eats. Despite that wish they go on to acquire dogs, chickens, horses, cows, pigs, ducks and sheep. They also go from having a one family farm to all the children going back home to combine their efforts to learn how to live off of the land in Tennessee.
This book contains hundreds of letters that describe the adventures and sometimes misadventures in their new way of living. Through the families ups and downs their faith and reliance on God comes shining through. Included in the volume are photos of the family and maps of where life takes them. Franklin’s ties to the south are very evident in almost everything he writes and his family commemorates this loyalty by participating in civil war reenactments. You can read a sample chapter called “PigPersuader” for free.
Even though I lived in the Midwest for almost 20 years, I have lived in the south (not far from where a lot of the events take place!) for 23 years. Oops, you know my age now. The fact that I was familiar with some of the locations, and the culture of the area he describes, drew me into the story. Having grown up in a rural area, living off the land is also something I wish my family was able to do. It was fascinating to read a story about a family that was actually able to do it!
The book itself, Nothing That Eats, is a pretty thick volume being 379 pages long. The book in paper form retails for $22.95 or in ebook formats (Kindle, ePub, or PDF) sells for $16.95. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the book I think the price is a bit high, at least if I were to go out and buy the next volume.Oh, and the next volume in the series is titled, Best Thing We Ever Did.
I encourage you though to click below to find out what the other crew members had to say about this book that is full of adventure and TRUE GRIT!