Monday, May 22, 2017

BOOK: Field Notes by Sara Jewell

Field Notes: A City Girl's Search for Heart and Home in Rural Nova Scotia by Sara Jewell  232 pages

Sara Jewell writes 'Field Notes' for her local paper in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. This book is a collection of her essays and articles put together chronicling her adjusting to life in rural Nova Scotia after moving from Vancouver. 

Jewell feels she has always been a rural girl who never happened to live in a rural area, having grown up in Ontario. She had spent some summers in the Pugwash area growing up, and her parents had a cottage there. So when she is suddenly getting a divorce, her first reaction is to leave Vancouver and head to Pugwash and her parent's cottage. 

The essays are short but so well-written. Jewell's love of her new life, and appreciation for nature and small town life shines through. After a few years, she meets a local boy and they get married. I thought the book would be a linear narrative of her life after she moves to NS, but once I realized it was previously written essays, I was good and just loved the book. I read a few chapters each day to extend out the enjoyment of these lovely views of life. Jewell's voice is strong and by the end, I felt like I knew her and if I was in Pugwash area, we could get together for a coffee and chat.

I'm not sure how available this book is across Canada. I bought it while in Nova Scotia at a Chapters and I'm sure you could order it online. It is also available at my local Indigo in the 'Local Interests' area. Cumberland County is just across the Northumberland Strait from PEI and I was familiar with some of the areas making this more personal for me. I loved the sketches on the cover and the only thing that would have made this book better would have been including the sketches throughout the book. 

Jewell's blog looks like an extension of the essays that were combined in the book, so if you want a little taste of Field Notes, check it out.