A Book Review: Farming Grace: A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith

In Farming Grace: A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith, American novelist, Paula Scott,  bares with courage and honesty the turmoil in her life between her childhood and the time she found God. It’s not her intention to bring their family secrets out in the open but to tell their redemption. 

She started sharing about her childhood on their farm in the Sutter Buttes, California, where she was taught to be tough. Her family was Catholic. Then, she went on to tell about her life in Reno, Nevada, and Chico, California where she worked as a waitress. In Reno, she started substance abuse that scared her so much that she decided to go back to their farm. 

Further on, she detailed the peaks and valleys of her relationship with her husband, Scott. Many times she wanted to file a divorce but there was something that stopped her. The turmoil in her marriage and in herself paved the way to her spiritual awakening. With the help of a pastor, she finally found stability in life through her newfound relationship with “the God of the Protestant books”. Her husband, Scott, also became a Christian. 

Farming Grace: A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith is well-written and I enjoyed some parts of it.  For instance, I like how she narrated the part when she went home after knowing her parents were trying to kill each other. She was still in college at the time. In the morning, she heard gunshots. I braced myself for the worst as I imagine how she described her parents' bedroom if indeed they were shooting at each other, blood on the walls and broken shards of glass everywhere. But when she checked it out, everything was fine. I was relieved. She found her father on the porch with his shotgun shooting a woodpecker. Her mother who was a nurse was already at work. 

On the other hand,  I have to take the part about having visions from God, hearing voices and speaking in tongues with a grain of salt. I  know unexplainable things do happen, and I respect the author's spiritual journey that opened her eyes to the true meaning of her life.

Another thing, Paula Scott was in her early thirties when she started searching for God. I realized that there is something about reaching thirty. Whether you are going thirty, in the early or late thirties, at some point, a question suddenly pops in your mind, “What is the purpose of my existence? What is life? Why are we here.” Eckhart Tolle, for example, was 29 when he became enlightened. He then wrote the book, the Power of Now, to talk about the most important thing in our life and that is our relationship with the present moment. 

I would recommend Farming Grace: A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith to anyone who is interested in mysterious spiritual experiences such as having visions of God and evil,  glossolalia, and spiritual warfare. 

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the 2-3  major themes in the book and how did the author show them?

  2. Who needs this book in their life and why?

  3. Before reading, how did you feel towards the book? Did it change as you read it?

  4. What information surprised you? Why?

  5. How did this memoir reflect on your own life?

Further Information

Title: Farming Grace: A Memoir of Life, Love, and a Harvest of Faith

Author: Paula Scott

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: West Butte Publishing (September 3, 2019)

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Print length: 254 pages


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First Line:

 “Rain fell sideways.”