Roshara Journal: A Snapshot of Country Life

Roshara Journal is one man’s look back upon his years spent at Roshara Farm, a plot of land in Wisconsin. Roshara Farm was once a piece of earth that many considered untameable, but through the efforts of Jerry Apps and his family, it is now a landscape filled with life.

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Roshara Journal tells the story of the land’s transformation in an interesting way. The book is arranged into the four seasons — spring, summer, fall, winter — with journal entries spanning 50 years arranged within. Apps chose to arrange these entries by the point in which they fall on the calendar, not truly chronologically. So, an entry from June 20, 1986 would come before one dated June 21, 1999, even though 1986 was much earlier than 1999. Make sense?

At first the back and forth through the years was a little jarring. This was supposed to be a book about the transformation of the land, right? How was I supposed to see the land transform if the journal entries kept jumping forward and backward through the years? It’s a justifiable question, but one that quickly became moot. Reading the short entries became less and less about following the growth of the land, and more about feeling the rhythm of the seasons and the cyclical power of nature.

Aside from the journal entries, which were short and insightful on their own, the book contains absolutely gorgeous photography by Steve Apps. Each shot is a taste of Roshara Farm’s glory, and each one brings the story to life. I mainly read Roshara Journal at night as I was winding down for sleep, and frequently lost myself daydreaming in the beautiful pictures. This is a book that would make an excellent showpiece on a coffee table or other place where it can be thumbed through frequently.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed Roshara Journal. It’s not my normal reading style, but it made an excellent bedtime companion.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review, which I have provided here, and at my LibraryThing account.

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