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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
My Ten-Acre Wilderness: A Misfit Girl's Quest for Home is a memoir by Jodi L. Auborn. It covers her life from childhood to college in upstate New York in the 80s and 90s and follows her to Cape Cod and Maine. An epilogue brings her life’s story into the 2000s. Filled with the sights, sounds, and emotions of her childhood and young adulthood, it describes both those memories that made her life very special and the experiences that brought feelings of deep anxiety, sadness, and aloneness. Most of all, this is the story of Auborn’s yearning for a place to call her own and the path that leads her home.
I enjoyed reading My Ten-Acre Wilderness. The narrative is flowing, impeccably detailed, beautifully descriptive, and emotionally evocative. You see what Auborn saw and feel what she felt, both the uplifting and the uncomfortable. The narrative moves along at a good pace, and the story has meaning that is relevant to readers on many levels, like her love of horses, pets, music, writing, art, and boating; family vacations spent camping and fishing; the breakup of her parents’ marriage; her feelings of being different from her classmates as she struggled with athletic and social awkwardness and a learning disability; and her inner attraction to solitude, secret places, and the woods.
In My Ten-Acre Wilderness, Auborn gently draws you into her life and her heart, adding a sprinkling of photographs and poetry to capture the reality and the emotions of her younger years, from her outer search for Place to her inner search for Self. “Instead of dreaming about romance,” she writes of her high school years, “I dreamed of adventure. I wanted to ride a horse across the United States. I wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. I wanted to live on a boat for a few years. But most of all, I wanted an independent life in the woods… with dogs and cats and horses all over the place.” An entertaining and engaging read.