What happens when two New Yorkers (one an ex–drag queen) do the unthinkable: start over, have a herd of kids, and get a little dirty?
The Bucolic Plague starts off with the most hilarious Author Caution that I have ever read.
This book is not about living your dream. It will not inspire you. You will not be emboldened to attempt anything more than making a fresh pot of coffee.
The author reminds you that there are plenty of other memoirs out there written by courageous souls who have broken with their past, poetically leaving behind things such as:
1. Drugs and/or Drinking
2. Career Ennui
3. Bad Relationships
….and have successfully achieved goals such as:
1. Creative Fulfillment
2. The Simple Life
3. Jesus’s Approval
The author notes that those memoirs are generally full of more shit than a bard at the end of a long winter.
The Bucolic Plague had me from that page and I couldn’t put it down. Part memoir, part making fun of the things we all try and fail the first time around, kept me cheering for the pair. You find yourself cheering for them at the same time you are could I pull this off?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a former drag queen and current ad executive, and his partner, Dr. Brent Ridge, formerly a Vice President of Healthy Living at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, were on an apple picking trip in upstate New York when they stumbled upon the Beekman Mansion in Sharon Springs. It was love at first sight with the historic home completed in 1802.
The pair thought that it would make a great getaway home and that it would be fun to become gentleman farmers. How hard could it be, right? Let me tell you right now, the fun really begins when you are cleaning up poop-covered goats with wet naps for their debut on the Martha Stewart show and gets better from there.
What was a bonus to The Bucolic Plague was the overall message Kilmer-Purcell learns and shares with us. That it isn’t about being perfect, like Martha Stewart, or about having the “best life” like Oprah, it is about living the best way for you.
If you pick up one memoir this year, make it this one. You’ll laugh, you will encounter zombie flies and you will learn some very important things.