The Egg and I

The Egg and I

Betty MacDonald / Dec 06, 2019

The Egg and I When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild With no running wate

  • Title: The Egg and I
  • Author: Betty MacDonald
  • ISBN: 9780704102477
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up anWhen Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax And then came the children Yet through every trial and pitfall through chaos and catastrophe this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.An immortal, hilarious and heartwarming classic about working a chicken farm in the Northwest, a part of which first appeared in a condensed serialization in the Atlantic monthly.

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      145 Betty MacDonald
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      Published :2019-09-10T10:46:28+00:00

    About "Betty MacDonald"

      • Betty MacDonald

        The first book written by Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I, rocketed to the top of the national bestseller list in 1945 Translations followed in than 30 languages, along with a series of popular movies In the wake of World War II, the hilarious accounts of MacDonald s adventures as a backwoods farmer s wife in Chimacum Valley were a breath of fresh air for readers around the world On the negative side, her book spawned a perception of Washington as a land of eccentric country bumpkins like Ma and Pa Kettle.Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard, called Betsy in childhood and later known world wide as Betty MacDonald, was born in Boulder, Colorado, to Darsie and Elsie Sydney Bard on March 26, 1908 Her father, a mining engineer, moved the family frequently before settling in Seattle Betty attended the St Nicholas School on Capitol Hill, then Lincoln High School In 1924 she graduated from Roosevelt High School.On July 9, 1927, Betty Bard married Robert E Heskett and moved with him to the farm in the tiny community of Center in the Chimacum Valley near Port Townsend that lacked both plumbing and electricity Betty later regaled family and friends with stories of her struggles during this time, eventually transforming them into the book that would make her famous.After four years, Betty left Robert Hesket, taking their two daughters, Anne and Joan, with her She returned to the family home in Seattle and worked at various jobs, keeping her sense of humor and her journal even when tuberculosis forced her to spend a year at Firland Sanatorium in what is now the city of Shoreline.On April 29, 1942, she married Donald C MacDonald 1910 1975 and moved with him and her daughters to a beach home on Vashon Island Built as a summer home, it was cold and damp and in need of improvements Anne and Joan enrolled in school while Don and Betty commuted to Seattle for work every day Betty later described her daily scramble from home to the ferry dock in book Onions In The Stew It was always seven o clock and my ferry left at seven twenty and I should have left at six fifty and now I would have to run the last quarter of a mile I wore loafers and woolen socks over my silk stockings, carried my office shoes along with my lunch, purse, current book and grocery list in a large green felt bag The county trail connecting our beach with the rest of the world begins at a cluster of mailboxes down by the dock, meanders along the steep southwest face of the island about fifty feet above the shore, and ends at our house if it was dark when I left the house and it usually was I ran the rest of the way to the ferry This boisterous early morning activity also started my blood circulating, churning, really, and by the time I got to the office I was not only bileless, I was boiling hot p 57 Their fortune changed with a call from MacDonald s sister, Mary Bard Jensen 1904 1970 At a cocktail party, Mary ran into a friend who was a publishing company scout and told him that Betty was writing a book which she was not Betty whipped up the proposal for The Egg and I to save her sister embarrassment The scout requested a full manuscript, which was rejected by one publishing house With the assistance of the New York literary agency Brandt Brandt, the book was serialized in the Atlantic Monthly and then published by J.B Lippincott She dedicated the book To my sister Mary, who has always believed that I can do anything she puts her mind to.


    1. This is one of the most funniest and fascinating memoirs I have ever read. I want to add some quotes later on. This book is a must-readEN . LATER ON We had a power cut yesterday and since my iPad was low on battery power as well, I did not want to spend it writing reviews. So I waited until today to add some memorable quotes from the book to my thoughts. There was so much in the book to relate to, living in the mountains myself and having to deal with similar adventures(yes, even many decades af [...]

    2. I have read Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I at least three times. The firsttime I was about twelve, the second, maybe twenty-oneand the last time in the virtual dotage of sixty-two.My ten year old self took this as a fabulous adventurestory and I wanted nothing more than to meet Gams andthe hyperactive grandma and eat a geoduck clam withthe MacDonalds.At twenty-one, I laughed my head off. Being of an impracticalnature myself, I got anxious and then giggling at whatI took to be a hippies-in-the-w [...]

    3. I'm giving this (a very generous) 2 stars due to the excellent scenic descriptions of the Washington state environment. I got a real sense of the beauty and bounty of the area and that's one thing I always enjoy about a book.Otherwise, MaCDonald's brand of humor isn't one shared by me, and I found nothing remotely funny about her life on a chicken farm in the 1940's. There's a bitterness about her observations of "people-not-herself" that manifests itself as a mean-spirited bigotry that you ofte [...]

    4. Oh, this book.I would give 90% of it 5 stars, but the other 10% gets negative stars. So whatever that evens out to is anyone's guessThe author is so talented and her prose so sprightly in parts and poetic in others that there can be no doubt as to the quality of the writing. Much if not most of it is fantastic.My biggest problem with this book is the author's deeply ingrained snobbery and worse, racism. She's dismissive of all her neighbors, drawing blood with her pen as she eviscerates their ho [...]

    5. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best book ever written. By anybody. And, go figure, it's non-fiction, a rarity for me anyway. MacDonald, as a bride in the 1920s, fell prey to her new husband's long-cherished dream of owning a chicken ranch, so off they went to the wilderness of Washington to raise chickens in a remote mountain location, where the nearest neighbors were a two-mile walk away. Frankly, living in the wilderness without electricity or indoor plumbing (she carried water from a sp [...]

    6. There are books that stay with you all your life. My mother read this to my sisters and brother and I when we were sick with the flu in England in the early 50's. I believe I have read this book about 30 times. Betty Macdonald's early biography, she wasn't someone really famous, but she had a way with words. (the book is no where near as shallow and trivial as the movie of the same name with Claudette Colbert as a ridiculous woman dressed up at a county fair) Her description of how she ended up [...]

    7. I haven't thoroughly enjoyed and laughed outloud with a really good book in a very long time. This book "The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald has brought some fun and joy into my life. Betty MacDonald is Ma & Pa Kettles neighbor, and the story has to do with them moving to Washington State and they have a Chicken Ranch with many other animals and crops. She is so gifted in her way of telling her story. I don't want to be a spoiler, as this is a Book Club read, and we have some fun ladies that a [...]

    8. I should have adored this - I have loved all of Betty Macdonald's other books and I've been saving this one up as a treat. But it just didn't do it for me. There seemed much more mean-spiritness than in her other books. Of course her spikey, pointed observations are what make her writing so delightful, but barbed humour only works well when one delights in the shafts because they're aimed at a shared and justified target. And here I found myself completely out of harmony with her. There's the ob [...]

    9. Well, there are 2 groups of people I wouldn't recommend this book to: vegetarians/animal lovers, due to the realities written about of living on a farm, and especially a chicken farm, and people offended by racist Native American portrayals, due to the author's own racist opinions. I can pretty much guarantee that if you don't fall into the first group, you most likely will fall into the second, so I'm not sure who to recommed it to. In fact, I myself threw down the book in disgust, and almost g [...]

    10. It took me a few pages to get into this book, but once I did I couldn't stop. It's semi-autobiographical and written in stream-of-consciousness, as Betty tells you the story of her childhood and how she ended up married to a man who dreamed of being a chicken farmer. (She thought she was marrying someone whose passion was insurance sales. She was wrong.) Betty is hilarious and clever with an extremely dry wit as well as a keen curiosity. Everything about her adventures in chicken farming fascina [...]

    11. I adored Betty MacDonald’s four Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books when I was a child — so much so that I tracked them down to read to my own children when they came along. So I was ready to laugh uproariously with MacDonald’s famous memoir The Egg and I.And don’t get me wrong: Parts of the book are hilarious: her paternal grandmother Gammy, the travails of the chicken ranch, and the plight of being the intellectual but plain younger sister. But modern-day readers will be taken aback by the antiqu [...]

    12. The author of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series also wrote several memoirs, this being the most famous. It's the book that introduced Ma and Pa Kettle to the world. Read through today's eyes, it's so horribly racist regarding Native Americans that I can't recommend it in my job, but it's a funny and warm book regardless. I guess that's like saying, "It's a great story, minus the Klan meetings"--it's not that bad, but I can't set the racism aside, andI don't know. I can't imagine following my newly-w [...]

    13. A memoir of rural life that lit up the best-seller lists in 1945, The Egg and I is the story of a young bride in the late 1920s who gets dragged to the woods of Washington by her enthusiastic and unsympathetic husband. Like Shirley Jackson's Life Among the Savages, which I just read, MacDonald's memoir captures the life of an overwhelmed housewife with a keen mind, a sharp sense of humor, and an unusual and subversive vision of her time. These were women who were trying to be good wives and moth [...]

    14. This book was written in 1945 and follows Betty MacDonald's adventures in the 1920s living on a chicken farm with her new husband in Washington State. The book is based in reality, but characters have been melded, warped, squished together, and changed for humor's sake.The book is, first and foremost, and humor book, and I will admit there were several laugh out loud moments, especially near the beginning. MacDonald certainly has a sly wit about her and since this was her first try at writing, I [...]

    15. I have to say, this is my favorite book of all time. First introduced to Betty's semi-fictionalized memoirs in the late 60s (via my mother's book collection), I've since made it a point to search outthe vintage printings of all her works. I tend to read this book once a year or so, usually during the winter months, because there is somethingfamiliar and cozy about The Egg and I - like a pair of well worn slippers. It's a trusted friend I turn to now & then, to bask in the whimsical adventure [...]

    16. Betty MacDonald is one of the funniest writers I have ever come across. Her stories about the American west during the early 20th Century and the stories (including many mishaps) of running a chicken farm in Port Townsend (which is a wonderful little town in my region) were so fun to read. She feels like someone you would love to meet in person.She has a way with words that is like no one I have ever come across, it was wry and endlessly witty.Beware, she has some very insensitive things to say [...]

    17. Betty MacDonald (author of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series) tells the story of her early, disastrous marriage to a chicken farmer. She has a great narrative voice, a fabulous sense of humor, and a way with an anecdote. Annnnnnd she's also racist as hell. Which pretty much ruins a lot of the book. So, FYI: interesting, funny memoir of a way of farming that is now totally gone, in a part of the country not many people write about. With a giant helping of open, unapologetic racism, of the Native-Amer [...]

    18. Thought this was hysterical. Autobiographical account of living on an egg farm in a hill-billy part of Washington. NOT PC. Humor a little down on self sometimes, like Charlie Brown. Funny and interesting snapshot of life in the 1920/1930's in the back woods.

    19. And then winter settled down and I realized that defeat, like morale, is a lot of little things.Betty MacDonald remembers the first two years of her marriage, in which she and her husband create and run a chicken ranch located in the wilds of Washington state. Originally published in 1945, the writing style reminded me of Jean Webster (who wrote Daddy-Long-Legs), with its mix of charm and dry wit. MacDonald finds the humor in any situation and is as willing to poke fun at herself as she is at th [...]

    20. In the first few chapters, I thought a memoir by Betty McDonald's adventurous mother or eccentric grandmother might be more interesting. She did have some interesting observations & adventures during her brief time living on a chicken farms in very rural upstate Washington, but I never really got a sense of who Betty is. She does have a gift for writing personification -- the town, the mountain, etc. The criticism I saw in other reviews -- the very negative tone of her writing, especially wh [...]

    21. I really had no idea what this book was but I knew it was old and I heard it was funny. When it arrived from the library, I saw that the copy was from the early 60's. It smelled musty and the pages were yellowed. The spine cracked when I opened it. Heaven. I had a feeling it would be wonderful and I was right.About midway through reading, I realized this is an autobiography about Betty MacDonald's life on a chicken farm in the state of Washington. That made all the stories even more laugh out lo [...]

    22. This was a vivid and fascinating look at life on a chicken farm in the 1920s, marred by an ugly racist chapter about Native Americans, and some portions that were punching down rather than up at MacDonald's neighbors, destroying any humor.But MacDonald has a real way with words when describing the land and the weather, just gorgeous.I felt she was very lonely and miserable despite her naturally upbeat personality - a lot of that due to her husband. I felt better about the book after finding out [...]

    23. The author of the beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books marries and moves to a chicken ranch on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state in the 1930s. She is not a happy farmer, and she writes of everything and everyone from Stove to goeducks to the indigenous population both white and Indian with fearless sensibility and a hilarious eye for detail. This was a book written before the invention of political correctness, and it’s worth reading alone for her ruthless depiction of her nei [...]

    24. First published in 1945, this book seems now not as hilarious as when I read it in the fifties. The stereotyping is just awful when seen from the 21st century. However, Ma and Pa Kettle are unforgettable, and I have always enjoyed yelling, whenever I see a home-cum-junkyard in my travels, "Look! There's a Ma and Pa Kettle house!" I feel like I already know, and feel kindly toward, the inhabitants.

    25. The Egg and I is the first of Betty MacDonald's memoirs. The first one is about her marriage to Bob. a man who wants to run a ranch. The move to Washington and start up a chicken ranch. Although she knows nothing about running a ranch let alone chickens she is now a rancher's wife getting up at 4 am. and working all day gathering eggs, planting gardens, canning all kinds of vegetables, meats etc. her days of work are 16 hours long. She is not a happy rancher's wife.She also writes of her neighbo [...]

    26. This is a supposedly hilarious memoir about a 22-year-old woman whose new husband tells her he's going to buy a farm and raise chickens. She hates chicken, the locals are unfriendly or coarse or too perfect, and her loneliness screamed at me throughout. The husband, who, I discovered, she divorced after four years, - good for her - paid absolutely no attention to how she felt as a city girl expected to get up at 4.30 to work until 7.30 at night. All this without running water or electricity. I a [...]

    27. Asi jsem pochopil, v čem je schovaný úspěch této knihy. Nenásilný jazyk, který volně plyne, jako čas na slepičí farmě. Příběh ženy, která zasvětila svůj život manželovi a práci na farmě. Střet s realitou místa (a místních lidí) doprovází téměř lyrické pohledy na těžký život farmáře. Líbilo se mi to, ale řadím to někam do škatulky "milé, ale nic víc".

    28. Simcha Fisher back in May posted an article on LOL Books and mentioned this book.The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. One of my favorite memoirs. A lovestruck newlywed follows her husband to the largely unspoiled wilderness of Washington State, where they carve out a homestead and raise chickens, with backbreaking labor from dawn till dusk and beyond. You end up wanting to clobber her husband, but the story is completely engrossing. I guess I have a soft spot for someone who spends so much time jus [...]

    29. I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books as a kid and was surprised to find out that she started out writing for adults. I want to read her other books now! I loved her writing. Highly irreverent and sarcastic, yet charming and story-like in the details and descriptions. I want to visit these places in the Pacific northwest now! Her descriptions were beautiful, lyrical and imaginative. Her reflections piercing and comical. I found myself either chuckling out loud over or wanting to paint a picture of ma [...]

    30. "Things were certainly different up on the ranch. Spring stopped there with a screech of brakesWe awoke one morning to a new Sears, Roebuck catalogue; baby chickens, thousands of them; a new little red-haired baby girl; little yellow goslings; two baby pigs; a puppy; two kittens; a little heifer calf; fruit trees snapping into bloom all over the place; a newly plowed plot for the biggest garden in the world; streams and lakes brimming; trilliums, wild violets both purple and yellow, camas and st [...]

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