Little Better Than Plumb

Author: Janice Holt Giles

Janice Holt Giles never thought her lifelong dream of owning a log home, a bubbling brook, and a few acres of hilly countryside was overly ambitious. After the year of novice farming so delightfully documented in 40 Acres and No Mule, she expected building a house from recycled logs to be downright simple.

Mrs. Giles and her husband Henry soon discovered otherwise. A Little Better than Plumb is their warm and humorous account of the trails of creating a place to call home. To longtime Giles fans and new readers alike, these reminiscences of family, friends, a river, and a roof offer a charming visit to rural Kentucky in the late 1950s.

From gathering logs to flushing out snakes, not much of the building process goes smoothly for “Mr. and Mrs. G.,” who must survive battles with winter as well as scrimmages between the sexes. Here are tales of rowdy grandsons, faithful dogs, serious illness, and helpful neighbors. Once their dream house is completed, the Gileses must remember that even a Spout Springs, Kentucky, homestead is subject to the forces of nature and government.

As Mrs G. says, “If you have had a strong life-long yearning for a thing you’d better try at least once to satisfy it.” First published in 1963, A little Better than Plum reminds 1990s readers that we can get along quite happily even when the world ignores our best-drawn plans. With laughter, love, and hard-earned wisdom Mr. and Mrs. G. show the value----and potential joy----of learning firsthand what we truly need in life.



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