A Countryman's Journal

Islandport Press, Inc.
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A Countryman's Journal: Views of Life and Nature from a Maine Coastal Farm, by Roy Barrette

In 1958, Roy Barrette (1897-1995) and his wife left Philadelphia for a small saltwater farm in Brooklin, Maine. He later wrote he wasn’t looking to “escape anything, but to find something.” At rundown Amen Farm he found the quiet, simple life he was seeking. He worked to rebuild the property and became a neighbor and friend of the famed writer, E.B. White, with whom he often enjoyed a fine martini.

Like White, Barrette began writing. His new life and farm, with its barnyard animals, library of his favorite literature, and abundance of home-grown produce, gave Barrette the fuel to create evocative weekly columns for the local newspaper at the behest of legendary editor James Russell Wiggins. The former insurance salesman also enjoyed a deep appreciation for old New England country ways—from canning his own vegetables and steaming freshly dug clams to taking walks with his spaniel and helping birth calves—and through them created a world for himself dramatically different from his former urban life. A Countryman’s Journal, originally published in 1981, is a collection of the essays offering personal glimpses into the joys of small-town Maine life.