Books & Essays
Shatter Me with Dawn: A Celebration of Country Life
University of Georgia Press 2001
When Sally Russell decided to move a century-old house eight miles down narrow county roads to her remote farm, she knew some would think her crazy. But saving the house was more important to her than what her neighbors thought about her sanity. The house survived the journey, was lovingly restored, and soon became both home and haven. Shatter Me with Dawn revisits the years Sally Russell spent living in that house on the farm she christened Somechoes, along the Mulberry River in Barrow County, Georgia.
Engaging characters inhabit Russell's rural world: two daughters, owls, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, a husband who becomes an ex-husband, a lover who becomes an ex-lover, aging parents, wasps, fireflies, five siblings and their families, a dozen horses, assorted cows (her own and others), a few yard chickens, barn swallows, hunters and the hunted, and more. Russell writes as beautifully and hauntingly about livestock and good neighbors as she does about sexual energy and the casual nature of death.
These are essays about day-to-day living, the seasons and cycles of nature, the love of land and family, and one woman's heart-driven ambition to make her home a place of harmony and refuge. For those who share Russell's reverence for the beauty and simplicity of rural life and those who long for a tranquil haven of their own, this book is a treasure.
Book Review #1:
"A luminous and loving portrait with a rare beauty and subtlety that describes a way of life already lost to most Americans." ?Philip Lee Williams