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Aaaaah, smell that dairy air!

Right, just a little farm humor there. How ‘bout this one: as farmers go, he’s outstanding in his field, har-de-har-har. Or: seeing a cow is a mooooooving experience, yuk, yuk. If you know anything about farms, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now because, as in “The Rural Diaries” by Hilarie Burton Morgan, you know farming is no joke.

She’d already booked her tickets to Paris.

Travel, writing, French cafes, life overseas intrigued Hilarie Burton Morgan. Her life-long dream of becoming an actor had been accomplished. She was ready for some change but just before she left, she met Jeffrey Morgan, also an actor, and she fell in love.

So, Paris never happened. What did, though, was a lightning-fast courtship filled with dreams they mutually held, a baby in quick time, fighting, making-up, and learning to be a couple with child. They had to learn to live with one another, even when their jobs meant that they had to live apart, until a tiny A-frame cabin in the woods in upstate New York became Home Base for both.

Dark, outdated, and a little dank, the cabin was rough but it quickly became home as Morgan threw herself into fixing it up for her “boys.” Savvy with tools and with the help of her brother, she remodeled and re-did while she also dived into the community of Rhinebeck, New York. Morgan made friends, worked a little, raised their son, and when Jeffrey came home from location, they relaxed into a non-Hollywood existence.

But their A-frame cabin wasn’t large enough for more children. The woods were no place for a kid to run without running into something. Jeffrey wanted animals, livestock. Morgan truly wanted a garden. They found a farm nearby, moved into one of the houses on the property, brought home some critters, and settled into rural bliss.

As everyone knows, though, achieved dreams never guarantee happiness. They never end all misery. And they they never stop new dreams from being imagined...

Sometimes, all you want to read is something like “The Rural Diaries”: something light and airy as the frosting on a gourmet cupcake. But at other times, that could annoy you.

Like any good diary, this book offers a whole swing set’s-worth of ups and downs. Author Hilarie Burton Morgan writes of love, but not just the romantic kind; she tells tales of deep friendship, and love of life. She writes with humor but also with honesty, telling readers about life in and out of Hollywood and revealing the bad parts of her life, and loss, as well as the good parts.

It’s there where the annoyances may lie: in today’s atmosphere, readers might not want to read about three mortgages, trips to Mexico, or spur-of-the-moment big-ticket purchases.

Or maybe you will.

Maybe this books’ lighthearted, deep-felt truths will win you over but beware. Remember, it’s at least partially a Hollywood bio, after all... but “The Rural Diaries” is also a book that will keep you on your derriere.

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