Farming Grace : A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith
Paula Scott, author
Sometimes your past must be plowed before your future can be planted… Her great-great-grandma came to California in a covered wagon more than a hundred years ago, and her family has farmed in the Sacramento Valley ever since, but a life of farming was the last thing she wanted… until the day fate brings her back to the farm. Nineteen-year-old Paula Scott leaves California when the almonds are in bloom for college in Reno, Nevada where cocaine, casinos, and her first honest-to-goodness boyfriend will break her farmgirl heart, but her story doesn’t end in the desert with a broken heart. When life knocks us down, we get back up, we try again, we marry and maybe divorce, but in the midst of our down and dirty, raw and real, painfully ordinary lives, sometimes the extraordinary breaks through, and we see God. Because God sees us.
Novelist Scott (The Mother Keeper) opens up about her early life, including her childhood on a farm, being kicked out of her home, and a rocky start to her marriage, in this affecting but uneven memoir. Growing up in Sutter Buttes, Calif., Scott lived a largely sheltered existence on her family’s farm. The story jumps sporadically between scenes from her childhood, moments during college, and early in her marriage when she struggled to figure out what she wanted out of life. At the end of high school, Scott met her future husband, and the two began a relationship, which caused her strict Catholic father to kick her out. Floating between college and waitressing jobs in Reno, Nev., and Chico, Calif., Scott parties, abuses drugs, and a has tumultuous relationship with her future husband. After the two marry, her husband begins a career in the Navy, and the two live in 10 cities over a dozen years. While the difficulties of raising children (they have seven) and military life wear on Scott, the voice of God and the hope of returning to Sutter Buttes always guides her. While the erratic narrative jumps can be disorienting, this hopeful tale of redemption and the lasting power of home will appeal to Christian readers. (Self-published.)