“We also grew and raised a lot of our own food and we burned a lot of wood in the fireplace. And it was not pretty wood, I might add. It was deadfall on the property.”
Still, there was as much triumph as tragedy, making for a story that is both humorous and heartwarming.
“There were some amazingly funny and wonderful moments, too,” she said, referring to the time she won a year’s supply of bread and another time when she dominated a zucchini-growing contest. “And toward the end of the year, it made me understand what I was trying to hang on to. I don’t think I understood what I was hanging on to until then. I wanted to preserve the way of life I always envisioned for my sons and myself. I wasn’t willing to let that go without a fight.”
Fellow author Garrison Keillor calls the book “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 and don’t need your sympathy. Just a break now and then.”
The memoir is a departure for Link, best known locally for her Record-Eagle column, her essays in Traverse Magazine, and for her non-fiction books about infamous Michigan murders. “Isadore’s Secret” (2009) was a Michigan Notable Book and both it and “When Evil Came to Good Hart” (2008) spent several weeks on the Heartland Bestseller List.
Horizon Books Sales Manager Amy Reynolds predicts more of the same for “Bootstrappers.” Already the book is on the Indie Next List for June.
“It’s thoroughly enjoyable, it’s a nice quick read, and she’s got a great sense of humor,” said Reynolds, who plans to feature the book at cash registers and with Michigan titles front and center of the store. “It’s going to be a big book. It’s a major publisher behind it and doing the promotion. And it’s well written. Our goal is to help her get it to the New York Times Best Sellers list.”