Saturday 16 November 2013

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole {Book Review}

I recently received volume one of At Home In Dogwood Mudhole - Nothing that Eats in the mail and have spent a delightful few weeks in gales of laughter thanks to Franklin Sanders. In this book I have been on adventure after adventure with the Sanders Family living in Dogwood Mudhole somewhere in Tennessee.

  • At Home in Dogwood Mudhole
  • Author: Franklin Sanders
  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Four Rivers, Inc.
  • Published: 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-938817-06-9
  • Paperback $22.95
  • Kindle $16.95
  • PDF: $16.95
  • ePub: $16.95
  • Purchase from:  The Money Changer Store

There are four sections to the book with a total of 88 short chapters
  1. Leaving Memphis Five Miles at a Time
  2. Living in the Country Changes You
  3. Learning Curve
  4. A Real Farm
Scattered throughout the book are 23 black and white family album photographs.  You can see some colour photographs from the book at the At Home in a Dogwood Mudhole, Vol One Facebook Album.

My Thoughts

My first thought was "What on earth is a Dogwood Mudhole ?" and I was so pleased when I started reading this book that Franklin dove straight in and explained the title. 

Nothing That Eats is a tale of the Sanders family's move from the city to rural living. Their decision to move was motivated by the impending Y2K countdown and all the "what might happen with the arrival of Y2K..."

I enjoyed Franklin's humour and the easy down to earth conversational style of this book.  Having grown up in town and reading the funny side of learning to farm was at times so humorous I was holding my sides with laughter. I found that reading At Home in Dogwood Mudhole was a little like reading one of James Herriot's novels. The book covers the families exploits of acquiring pets and farm animals (dogs, horses, cattle, poultry, pigs and sheep) despite Susan's expectation when they moved they would have nothing that eats ...

Each chapter contains a gem of insight and inspiration that speaks to the heart or a practical life application that can be applied to your own life regardless of your walk of like. Here are a couple of examples I enjoyed.
Susan reminds me often that every day God gives us time enough to finish the work he has appointed for us. God gives us peace. We work; then we rest. We don't have to work seven days a week; we work six, but he pays us for seven. Our success does not depend on our efforts, but on Christ in whom we rest - Franklin Saunders (page 10)
In section one chapter five I enjoyed this statement about traditions
Now a tradition is not a rut. A rut is doing the same things year after year because you don't have enough imagination to do anything new. A tradition is something you do once and discover a joy so deep that you do it again, Christmas after Christmas, to keep on savoring it and make it last -  Franklin Saunders (page 23)
While it does not have the smooth transitions of a novel it is a meaningful read. It is honest and down to earth.  It is based on a collection of personal letters written over 17 years.  This first volume covers the years from June 1995 to September 2002. This book is the memoir of one families life and is not a how to begin farming or sustenance living.
Raising pigs is only slightly less trouble than raising children. They can escape any pen; hence our boar's name, Houdini. Once they get out, they can run 1,400 miles per hour, and make right-angle turns like a flying saucer. This is what Susan wanted to capture and train to an electric fence. - Franklin Saunders (pg 214)
When I reached the end of volume one I was pleased to discover that there are two more books scheduled for release. I am looking forward to Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did which is scheduled for release soon and currently available for pre-order, as well as Volume Three: The Sage of Dogwood Mudhole. 

Connect with Franklin

I look forward to handing this book to Sir N when he reaches the teen years and hearing what his thoughts will be.  I feel that Franklin does an excellent job of sharing his faith and the heart of the matter as well as taking you on a journey of discovering life at the very heart of living in a Dogwood Mudhole and the grace of an ever present ever loving Heavenly Father.




  1. On behalf of the Sanders family, thank you for taking the time to read the book and post your review. We would like to let your readers know they can get free shipping (for up to 2 books, to US addresses only) by using the discount code TOSFREE at checkout. Thanks again, and God bless!

  2. YES! thanks for this great review!


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