Omega Farm: A Memoir

S. & S. Audio. Sept. 2023. 7:45 hrs. ISBN 9781797165912. $19.99. MEMOIR
Novelist McPhee (An Elegant Woman) reflects on her childhood trauma in this memoir set during the COVID pandemic, during which the author returned to her family’s farm in New Jersey. There, sheltering in place with her mother, photographer Pryde Brown, who has dementia, McPhee faces an uphill battle, managing her mother’s care as well as a property that’s fallen into disrepair. While she fells trees and learns the ecosystem of a forest, she also sifts through the ecosystem of her family from the 1970s to the present. Her stepfather, therapist Dan Sullivan, is a central and flawed character in her life, and her mother seems to exist only in the past. The complex issues McPhee confronts—memory, grief, healing, and the messiness of life—make for an engaging story, but the disjointed timeline may be a struggle for some readers. Tracy Thorne narrates the book with confidence and emotion. She embodies McPhee, relaying her story with tender intimacy and regard.
VERDICT For those ready to reflect on the pandemic and not opposed to a jumping timeline, this deeply personal story resonates.
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