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Extended Audio Sample Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm Audiobook, by Mardi Jo Link Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mardi Jo Link Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9780804120722
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Poignant, irreverent, and hilarious: a memoir about survival and self-discovery, by an indomitable woman who never loses sight of what matters most. 

It’s the summer of 2005, and Mardi Jo Link’s dream of living the simple life has unraveled into debt, heartbreak, and perpetually ragged cuticles. She and her husband of nineteen years have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce. More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood chopping and dirt. Armed with an unfailing sense of humor and three resolute accomplices, Link confronts blizzards and foxes, learns about Zen divorce and the best way to butcher a hog, dominates a zucchini-growing contest and wins a year’s supply of local bread, masters the art of bargain cooking, wrangles rampaging poultry, and withstands any blow to her pride in order to preserve the life she wants.

With an infectious optimism that would put Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to shame and a deep appreciation of the natural world, Link tells the story of how, over the course of one long year, she holds on to her sons, saves the farm from foreclosure, and finds her way back to a life of richness and meaning on the land she loves. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Link’s story possesses that rare, elusive, but much sought-after feeling of authenticity…Glints with Link’s raw, willful energy.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A heroic-comic saga of single motherhood, pure stubbornness, and the loyalty of three young sons. And more than that, an honest account of the working poor, the people who buy day-old bread, patronize libraries, rarely go to movies, and don’t need your sympathy. Just a break now and then.”

    Garrison Keillor

  • “Many memoirs about the trauma of divorce are available today, but none of them is as dynamic as Mardi Jo Link’s fittingly titled Bootstrapper.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Electric, candid…A country song of a memoir, complete with a broken-down truck named Cookie. It’s great fun to listen to once, full blast.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Hilarious, wrenching, and heartwarming, Link’s poignant memoir chronicles one woman’s determination to discover meaning and wholeness in the midst of brokenness. It’s almost as if Cheryl Strayed had stayed down on the farm instead of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.”

    BookPage

  • “You’ll fall in love with Mardi Jo Link’s family in this irreverent and heartwarming memoir depicting her heroic fight to hold on to her northern Michigan farm and the simple way of life she wants to preserve for her three young sons.”

    Parade

  • “A potent cocktail of ingenuity and humor…about a mother’s fierce love and the sustaining fabric of family…Direct, funny, void of self-pity, and exceedingly humane.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Tough, honest, and appealing…[It] will appeal to the bootstrapper in all of us.”

    Booklist

  • “Funny…Honest…A tale of grit and determination…You can’t help but admire the ingenuity of this four-member team, each stepping up during one crisis or another.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • Selected for the June 2013 Indie Next List
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About the Author

Mardi Jo Link is the author of When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore’s Secret, winner of the Michigan Notable Book Award. She lives with her family on a farm in northern Michigan.

About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.