From Publishers Weekly Manhattan freelance writer Ward and his wife, Heather, faced a steep learning curve when they abandoned harried, technology-driven lives for a year not just in the country but in the country as it was a century ago. Their mantra was, If it didn't exist in 1900, we will do without, and they did-no electricity, no telephone, no computer. This breezy account of their stubbornly quixotic odyssey begins in June 2000, with Logan exhausted pumping water from a well, ineptly milking cantankerous goats and confronting his fear of a 2,000-pound Percheron, while Heather coped with the cooking stove's suffocating heat, her fear of snakes and hand-scrubbing two-year-old Luther's cloth diapers. Their garden, planted late, was soon parched by drought and plagued by pests, the most severe of several crises, since it was their winter food. Ward writes candidly about how tempers flared and sexual intimacy vanished in the early months of their adventure, but the stress of a daunting new experience soon settled into the comfort of routine, as the couple canned dozens of quarts of produce once the rains returned and forged friendships with curious, ultimately supportive country neighbors. This lyrical account of keeping the 21st century at bay is more real, and more rewarding, than any survival TV show. (June) Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. "Logan Ward shares his family's brave adventure in this memorable and heartwarming memoir. With fetching candor, he describes his family's escape from the stress of modern living. I found myself completely involved with their experiment. You will find much in this book to think about. It's as valuable as a how-not-to endeavor as it is a how-to inspiration."-Mildred Armstrong Kalish, author of Little Heathens "A meditation on the value of modern living." -Birmingham News "Ward has crafted a thoughtful, sweet-natured book-one to read s-l-o-w-l-y, by candlelight if possible, with a still mind and a settled heart." -Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Americana "A lively tale, told with admirable honesty." -Raleigh (NC) News & Observer Logan Ward and his wife, Heather, were prototypical New Yorkers circa 2000: their lives steeped in ambition, work, and stress. Feeling their souls grow numb, wanting their toddler son to see the stars at night, the Wards made a plan. They would return to their native South, find a farm, and for one year live exactly as people did in 1900 Virginia: without a car or electricity-and with only the food they could grow themselves. It was a project that would push their relationship to the brink-and illuminate stunning hardships and equally remarkable surprises. From Logan's emotionally charged battles with Belle, the family workhorse, to Heather's daily trials with a wood-fired cooking stove and a constant siege of garden pests and cantankerous animals, the Wards were soon overwhelmed by their new life. At the same time as Logan and Heather struggled with their increasingly fragile relationship, as their son relished simple joys, the couple discovered something else: within their self-imposed time warp, they had found a community, a sense of belonging, and an appreciation both for what we've lost-and what we've gained-across a century of change.
Logan Ward has written for many magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, Men's Journal, Popular Mechanics, Southern Accents, and Cottage Living. He lives with his wife, Heather, and their children, Luther and Eliot, and is hard at work on his next book to be published by Riverhead Books, a division of the Penguin Group, USA.