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The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir…
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The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir

by Holly Robinson

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Showing 5 of 5
There's a freshness and guilelessness in this book that pulled me in and helped me identify with the writer. She handled difficult topics such as adolescence, rebellion, loss of innocence with an admirable degree of humility. The gerbils were merely a backdrop to the family psychodrama. ( )
  DellaWanna | Jun 20, 2013 |
Holly Robinson's delightful memoir depicting her unusual childhood with a couple of eccentric parents. It's well written, well paced, and fascinating. ( )
  actonbell | Aug 21, 2011 |
This book offers the reader an opportunity to spend time with the last(?) generation of parents who unselfconsciously spent their child-rearing years as grownups with their own pursuits. These parents are surrounded with, and busy with family life to be sure, but their primary focus is on their own pursuits and work, not on their kids' schedules or activities. A farm or an entrepreneurial endeavor (where the work truly is never done!) can still create this family dynamic but it is a rare pleasure to see it described so frankly. And, I might add, a blessing to grow up in such a family! A refreshing look at life before it became socially respectable, even expected, for moms and dads alike to organize their personal schedules, their social lives, and sometimes even their family budgets around their children's pursuits. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 19, 2010 |
Given the number of family memoirs available which focus on dysfunction, this book is a delightful departure. The family is wonderfully quirky. While the home certainly has problems, the author tells the story with an optimistic tone, her military father's rigid inflexibility and penny pinching ways, her mother's zest for life, and her brother's wild ways are told with humor and affection. I found myself laughing out loud as the author recounted the one family vacation, the brief attempt at raising African Pygmy goats, and cried at the loss of her young sister. I highly recommend this book as a postive look at a family I define as qurky rather than dysfunctional. ( )
  knitwit2 | May 2, 2010 |
The cover was enough to want me to pick this up, and I'm glad I did. I guess someone had to, but I'd never thought much of "who" raises the gerbils which you find in labs and pet stores. And even if I did, I doubt I would think of the family of the farmer.

The book gives some very interesting insights into this field of business, but jumps around a little too much with reminiscences from her childhood and teen years, with the result that many of these significant moments of her past seem ill-developed. Particularly baffling are numerous (conflicting) references to her physical appearance, attractiveness to boys/or lack thereof, and sexual escapades - where sex never actually appears to take place.

But overall, the book is well written and her memories are enchanting and frequently humorous - I just wish there were more. ( )
  pbadeer | Jul 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307337456, Hardcover)

“What kind of Navy officer sits on his ship in the middle of the Mediterranean dreaming of gerbils?”

That’s the question that Holly Robinson sets out to answer in this warm and rollicking memoir of life with her father, the world’s most famous gerbil czar.

Starting with a few pairs of gerbils housed for curiosity’s sake in the family’s garage, Donald Robinson’s obsession with the “pocket kangaroo” developed into a lifelong passion and second career. Soon the Annapolis-trained Navy commander was breeding gerbils and writing about them for publications ranging from the ever-bouncy Highlights for Children to the erudite Science News. To support his burgeoning business, the family eventually settled on a remote hundred-acre farm with horses, sheep, pygmy goats, peacocks–and nearly nine thousand gerbils.

From part-time model for her father’s bestselling pet book, How to Raise and Train Pet Gerbils, to full-time employee in the gerbil empire’s complex of prefab Sears buildings, Holly was an enthusiastic if often exasperated companion on her father’s quest to breed the perfect gerbil. Told with heart, humor, and affection, The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter is Holly’s ode to a weird and wonderful upbringing and her truly one-of-a-kind father.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Robinson tells the warm and comic story of her father's peculiar obsession as a gerbil farmer, and of her own life growing up as one of the "employees" in his oddly thriving, sometimes exasperating, often humorous venture.

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