Wow, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this book.
Being part of a book club has me reading books and authors I don’t know about or haven’t heard of; but have loved and can’t put down. A Year on Ladybug Farm is one of those books. You know the ones, they have you staying up late, reading into the wee hours of the morning with a hot cup of tea, maybe letting work slide because you would rather read and go into the life of the story.
The beginning of the book introduces you to 3 women who are best friends. They have lived next door to each other for years, traveled together and supported each other through the raising of children, divorces and death.
They take another trip together, but this one may change the course of their lives. They stumble upon Blackwell Farm, the owner has died, the estate is for sale, but has been vacant for a long time. The house and buildings are crumbling and it needs major work and repairs. They enter the home with the real estate agent and as they step in the front door, they hear crunching beneath their feet, where they find thousands of ladybugs laying on the floor, is this a sign of luck? The real estate agent explains the area is buzzing with them, they are believed to protect the crops and farms from pests; but they scour the mansion, all of it’s nooks, crannies and over abundance of bedrooms. Something draws them to this home, but what? Realizing they need a change and an adventure, they buy the house and draw up a contract, One Year on Ladybug Farm.
They each sell their homes, say good bye to friends and the adventure begins. Arriving at their new home, they hammer in a handmade sign changing the name to Ladybug Farm. Located in the country, the town is tiny where supplies are limited and they wonder if they have made a mistake? The repairs are overwhelming, unexpected problems begin to pop up and they realize there is more work than can be done in a year and they may have bought a money pit.
Stories of the house being haunted are told, and they brush it off until food starts missing, recipe books are left open in the kitchen, clanging in the attic awakens them in the middle of the night; they head upstairs, what will they find?
A Year on Ladybug Farm will have you laughing out loud, wiping a tear from your eye and curious about the ghost while loving and respecting these determined strong women.
Donna Ball takes the reader on a journey. Her writing is so vivid that I felt like I was there observing it all from the kitchen and sunroom windows, living at Ladybug Farm. I want to pull up my own rocker on the front porch watching the sun slowly set with a glass of wine, joining Lindsey, Bridget and Ci Ci in conversation. I felt a connection to these women, you will find yourself in one of them.
As the year is quickly coming to a close, the women are making friends and connecting with the community, but money is running out and one may be wanting to go. But I’m not ready to let them go, not wanting the book to end.
I hop onto Amazon to see what other books Donna Ball has written and discover Ladybug Farm is a series, I’m in luck! There are 6 books and I have downloaded them all to my Kindle. Can’t wait to keep up with the adventures on Ladybug Farm.
Here is a list of the other books in order.
A Hummingbird House is a book written about friends of Ci Ci, Bridget and Lindsey’s who open a bed and breakfast and the women evidently grace the pages.
7. Recipes from Ladybug Farm, is a collection of recipes from the dishes cooked throughout the books.
Somewhere in the middle of Ladybug Farm adventures, I have to sneak in Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl for July’s book club event.
I am so disappointed I will miss book club in June for the event and discussion about Ladybug Farm. Our creative group is sure to make it a real ladybug evening.
Below are a few of my own ideas to help if you are having a Ladybug book club event
I loved the description of the foods that were cooked in A Year on Ladybug Farm and hope it continues throughout the other books. Consider buys the Recipes from Ladybug Farm and cooking a fun themed event.
I don’t typically discuss the books I’m reading with my husband, we like very different books. But I guess I have talked about this one to him enough, he has felt my passion for the story. He stumbled upon this cute little ladybug and bought it for me to sit on my desk next to my bee. How fun would it be to buy them for your book club members? The little card comes with the ladybug and is precious. You can find it on Amazon or other online sellers.
Need book club questions, check out Donna Ball’s blog for guidance, here is the link.