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 semiretired 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.
The subtitle, for this work of non-fiction is: A Year in the Life of an Overeducated, Underemployed Twenty-Something Who Moves Back Home. From this, I think, people are going to jump one of two ways in assessing a book by its cover. People might think “Oh great! Another indulged kid, under thirty, likely with an arts degree can’t get it together in the real world so runs home to mommy and daddy!” Some of this is true. He does have an arts degree (Queen’s University) and he is indulged, by his parents. If indulged means a good relationship, love and support of the moral variety. But he kind of does have it together. It might not be in a more traditional manner, but his mom and dad were happy to share the family home with their grown son, and Reid was working part-time for the CBC, in Ottawa, during his reprieve, so who are we to judge, really? Besides, a terrific book emerged from his time living back with his parents. The second path for those who judge a book by its cover could think. “Ha! This Reid is a funny guy!”, and he is. He can be self-deprecating, at times, and he has a great gift of observation. The humour is most evident during the scenes featuring his parents. Their conversations are lively and their eccentricities are endearing. That much page space is given to food and the animals on the family’s hobby farm makes this book even more irresistible. While reading this memoir, I kept thinking: a) I want to have lunch with the Reids and become friends with them; and b) I should talk the husband into moving to a hobby farm (which actually wouldn’t be that hard to do).
I hope you will read this book. For me, it was un-put-down-able.