Title: One Bird’s Choice: A Year in the Life of an Overeducated, Underemployed Twenty-Something Who Moves Back Home
Author: Iain Reid
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Source: Review copy from the publisher, for TLC Tours
From the cover:
Meet Iain Reid: an overeducated, underemployed twenty-something, living in the big city in a bug-filled basement apartment and struggling to make ends meet. When Iain lands a job at a radio station near his childhood home, he decides to take it. But the work is only part time, so he is forced to move back in with his lovable but eccentric parents on their hobby farm. What starts out as a temporary arrangement turns into a year-long extended stay, in which Iain finds himself fighting with the farm fowl, taking fashion advice from the elderly, fattening up on a gluttonous fare of home-cooked food, and ultimately easing (perhaps a little too comfortably) into the semi-retired, rural lifestyle. A hilarious and heartwarming comic memoir about food, family, and finally growing up, One Bird’s Choice marks the arrival of a funny, original, and fresh new voice.
This story has particular relevance to me, given my age and life situation. I’ve been out of university for three years, and I’m employed as a teacher – though not on a contract, so still not very stable. Over the past few years, it’s been brought up at least once that I could go live with my parents for a while, a choice that I find … shall we say … less than palatable.
And so, One Bird’s Choice was really interesting to me because it was entirely different perspective. It wasn’t that Reid particularly wanted to “move back home” for such a long time, but it happened anyways. And so, reading about his experiences was interesting because they could happen to anyone of our generation, a generation of young people who are increasingly unable to be independent straight out of university.
I have to say, though – I think that Reid’s experiences were probably more interesting than most. I mean, really, how many young people today can say that their parents live on a farm with sheep, chickens, ducks, and a guinea fowl? The isolation of his situation at his parents’ house is part of what made his story so interesting. I often found myself laughing at the antics of Iain, his parents, and the various animals they were surrounded by; one amusing story involved a missing duck, another recounted the extensive note-taking that Reid had to do regarding the feeding habits of the household pets before his parents went away for a few days.
And the anecdotes that make up One Bird’s Choice aren’t just about animals. It was often hilarious to read about Iain’s interactions with his mother and father, often underlying the generational gap between parents and children. A lot of the experiences recounted in this book are relevant and relatable to anyone with older parents, regardless of whether you’re living with them or not.
I’m not sure that I would recommend this book for everyone, but it was definitely an amusing read for someone in my demographic situation. If you find stories about the mismatch between parents and their children interesting, or just enjoy whimsical stories about everyday experiences, you might enjoy One Bird’s Choice. Give it a shot – it might not blow you over with awesomeness, but it’s a cute story nonetheless.
Other Tour Stops:
- Tuesday, March 1st: Along the Way
- Friday, March 4th: A Bookworm’s World
- Monday, March 7th: Rundpinne
- Wednesday, March 9th: Life in Review
- Thursday, March 10th: The Book Chick
- Monday, March 14th: Colloquium
- Tuesday, March 15th: Silver and Grace
- Wednesday, March 16th: Novel Whore
- Thursday, March 17th: Debbie’s Book Bag!!
- Friday, March 18th: Chick Lit Reviews
- Monday, March 21st: Luxury Reading
- Wednesday, March 23rd: I Am a Reader, Not a Writer