Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy: What I Learned About Country Livin’

Nonfiction – MemoirDirty Chick, antonia murphy
Released January 22, 2015
256 Pages
Bottom Line: Read it.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Publisher

Plot Summary

After sailing the world for a few years, San Francisco urbanite Antonia and her husband, Peter, settle in a remote farm community in New Zealand (Purua) hoping to find a stable environment for their developmentally delayed son…and end up becoming amateur farmers.

My Thoughts

Dirty Chick is a fun, eye-opening, hilarious romp through what happens when a city girl decides to become a “lifestyle farmer” (i.e. farming for the fun of it, not as an actual occupation). It’s a quirky book and is chock full of gross animal stories (i.e. if you can’t handle reading about the bodily functions of goats, this book is not for you!). And, I loved Murphy’s voice. I felt like I was listening to that best friend who manages to get into the most bizarre situations, but always has a great story to tell.

But, what really made Dirty Chick for me was all the totally weird things I learned about farm animals and country living. Here’s a sampling:

  • A duck’s penis is HUGE (as long as the duck’s entire body!), “spiny”, and “shaped like a corkscrew”. I’m going to look at those sweet things my son feeds at the pond slightly differently now!
  • Chickens complete all their bodily functions through the same hole (the “supervagina”, as Murphy calls it).
  • Homemade wines (which can be made from fruit, sugar, water, and yeast) are extremely potent, but don’t give you hangovers! Apparently, hangovers are caused by all the chemicals found in commercially produced wine.
  • Eating animal colostrum (a mother’s “first milk”, which contains tons of antibodies) is completely accepted and even encouraged in farm communities. And, it apparently makes a delicious pudding. Kourtney Kardashian, do you hear this?!

Amidst all this lightness and humor is the Murphy’s struggle with their developmentally delayed son, Silas. An error in his genetic code causes him to lag behind in almost all developmental areas, especially his speech. The Murphys try to give him as normal a life as possible and he seems to thrive in the country, but are constantly facing issues with his health. The story of Silas gives Dirty Chick an added dimension that takes it beyond quirky chic lit.

Dirty Chick is an unique, light read and a great pick if you’re looking for something short. It’s going on my “Great Books Under 300 Pages” (coming this winter) and 2015 Summer Reading lists (coming in May, click here for last year’s Summer Reading List).

You May Also Like:

Still Points North by Leigh Newman
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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  1. Hey, the tip about the wine would be worth it – ha! I think I would enjoy this one; thanks for sharing your review, Sarah!

    Posted 1.22.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      No kidding, right?! But, having access to that could get me into real trouble!

      Posted 1.22.15 Reply
  2. TBR’d on GoodReads

    Posted 1.22.15 Reply
  3. This sounds like a book for Mamie! She loves animal books! Great review. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 1.22.15 Reply
  4. I know we had different feelings about this book, but I have to say, when she describes the school they found that was so perfect for Silas… I wanted to move there and put my kid in that school! (And I say that as a homeschooler, ha!)

    Posted 1.22.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I absolutely loved the whole part of the book dealing with Silas…and the school too! It sort of balanced out the raunchiness of the rest of it.

      Posted 1.22.15 Reply
  5. Great Review Sarah! I like the sound of this. I usually like to include a non-fiction selection when it’s my turn to provide choices. I’m going to add this to my ToRead list. Thanks.

    Posted 1.23.15 Reply
  6. Kristen wrote:

    I already had this one on my tbr list but you’ve made it sound even better than I already thought it was likely to be.

    Posted 1.25.15 Reply

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