Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

She recomends the book with all her heart

I was so pleased with this book review of "Misfits of Love" that I had to share it. Perhaps better than anything I'll ever see in The New York Times, this reviewer seems to really understand the essence of the book. This isn't just any reviewer-it is from a savvy reader who happens to be in 5th grade. It made my day to get an email from her Aunt, who wanted to share it with me, and I asked permission to then share it here with you.

As I read through it and I came to the paragraph on me and Old Man Guinnias and my father, I choked up, as she hit the nail on the head.

So thank you, Lili, I could not have asked for a better review of my work. And I am also pleased to see you received an "A". I hope you and Misteltoe continue to have conversations, and perhaps you will write your own book someday–if so, I will be sure to read it.

Dear Mrs. G,

Recently I have been reading a most amazing book.It is a collection of short stories, all of them true, written By Katherine Dunn of Apifera Farm.

This book Misfits of Love has no main character. In fact, the characters are mostly animals. There's no plot, story line or protagonist. What happens between one cover and another is purely soulful. The animals in these stories are amazing to think about, to wonder about. My favorite tales are "Hospice of a Lamb" and "Conversation with Old barn".

Mrs. G, I apologize if this is a short letter essay but this book is so powerful that my eyes are watering up reading it. My writing, though not nearly as powerful as Katherine's, is quite similar to hers. We think the same way about animals and their lives and passing. My favorite quote is,

"To say the souls is not a physical entity could be disproven by looking into Matilda's eyes."

I will explain who Matilda is later, but so powerful was that statement, I actually get teary just thinking about it.

Katherine shows a lot of similarities between the animals and humans around her. For example, when she took in an old goat named Guinnias, she would often talk to him and, as she did, she realized she was also speaking to her father who was dying several states away. I think it gave her comfort to have those conversations with someone, even it was an old goat.

Another example is Frankie, the Head Troll, a funny, bossy goat who arrived at the farm and immediately took charge of everything going on. Katherine's comments are that some animals–like people–"leave a bigger mark on one's daily life." Katherine said she could hear Frankie's voice in her head when she writes. Amazing to know that animals can have important voice when they don't speak at all. Or maybe it's that we don't listen?

Unfortunately, to truly understand the miracle of the book, you have to read it yourself. What you can understand without reading it is the impactful creatures that live or float along in our very real world. An example of this is Mother Matilda. She was originally kept as a brooding jenny, and then came to Apifera a neglected donkey. She is loved and cared for to this day.

Mrs. G, experiences with animals are not frequent, but are always incredible. I have a question for you: if you have ever experienced anything like the powerful connection I have made with my dog, Mistletoe? Please tell me if you have ever had that sort of a feeling, since I find it wonderful when humans and animals think together.

And that, Mrs. G, ends my essay. I hope that, although it may not have been as detailed as my others, you are curious about reading this book. I recommend it with all my heart.

Sincerely, Lili


Cathy said...

Best book review EVER!!! Just lovely, Katherine.

MamaHen said...

Wow! that girl can write! love it.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~