What I am Reading

The Feast Nearby

I came across The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather much the same as many other things, on social media. I didn’t initially know what the title of this book meant, but I had my inklings. Could the title have to do with eating local food, food that was seasonal? My guess was it did, but the title left me wanting to know more. In the few minutes where I pondered the title and why the author chose it, so many thoughts ran through my mind. Perhaps the word “feast” referred to abundance. I was intrigued. I found a copy of The Feast Nearby at my local library.

The Feast Nearby is Mather’s story of finding her way after losing her job and her marriage within a very short period of time. She moved to rural Michigan from Chicago where she had been a food journalist. Out of necessity and personal challenge, I believe, she sets out to feed herself on a weekly budget of forty dollars. Mather writes about the crucial role local and seasonal food played. She was successful because of creativity, ingenuity, compromise, and her knowledge of food. The relationships she developed were not only key to feeding her body, but also her soul. The book is divided into four sections; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. It begins with spring.

The format The Feast Nearby is written in grabbed my attention and further anchored my interest in reading it. Robin Mather shares her experiences in the form of stories and recipes. Shortly after I began reading, I realized my love of simple joys and obtaining them while keeping cost in mind was at the heart of the book. This quote by Robin Mather speaks to me and was my hope when I first discovered her book. “There is fundamental importance in living well even in hard times. By “living well,” I mean finding a way to live that rings true to you and your values and that brings pleasure to your life.”

I was inspired in the spring and educated in the summer. I was comforted in the fall and sustained in the winter. “Abundance” is having exactly what you need whether you know it or discover it down the road. The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather is a true story about life changes and how moving through the process becomes about nourishing yourself as much or more than providing for yourself.

Follow up:

There was a short time while reading The Feast Nearby when I questioned whether I would finish it. I am so glad I did. I realized after I turned the last page that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Somewhere within the fall and winter chapters, this read went from a 3-star to a 4-star. The final paragraph wrapped it up so sweetly. “The good food that I found near my home strengthened and nourished me and, together with the work of my own hands, gave me a sense of pride, security, and peace that I have never known before. The search for it led me to new friends and new ways of thinking about myself and the world in which I live. It provided me with the luxury of having enough to share, even on the spur of the moment, when money was tight and the future uncertain.”

it’s storied time