When author Matt Whyman gets the chance to move his family (wife Emma, four kids, three nervous chickens, one needy dog, and a cat that despises everyone) out to the country, he’s excited about the prospect of being able to get more freelance writing done.
But Emma has other plans. She’s decided that the missing ingredient in their already-hectic family is pigs — mini-pigs. Oink! My Life with Mini-Pigs chronicles the life of a writer driven to near insanity by two digging, eating, escaping, stealing, havoc-wreaking pigs.
A great read
As a kid, I loved reading stories about animals and their crazy antics. I must have read veterinarian James Herriot’s and Earl Hamner’s books dozens of times (All Creatures Great and Small and The Avocado Drive Zoo being two of my favorites), so when I heard about Whyman’s book, I was excited.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Turns out that mini-pigs create exactly the amount of chaos one would expect, and it was fun to read about the craziness; I did a lot of laughing out loud and facepalming.
My Life with Mini-Pigs is funny, but more than that, it’s about a couple struggling to find a balance, and seeing a big family expand further to include—and eventually be completed by—two porkers with a lot of personality.
My only complaint
Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in lately, but Matt and Emma’s relationship really frustrated me at times. Matt tries to satisfy Emma’s need for a big family by giving into her wish to purchase and care for two exceedingly difficult pets, but then Emma heads off blithely to work every day, leaving Matt — who works from home, and needs the time to do so — to be responsible for taking care of the pets she wanted. She doesn’t seem to listen to or care much about his apparent difficulty getting work done, as well as the stress caused by caring for the pigs.
Perhaps I’m chaffing at Emma’s behavior because I’m very different from her. I don’t want a big family, and I don’t feel that need to be surrounded by the comfortable chaos children are said to create. I can’t imagine inconveniencing my spouse to such an extent (and I try hard never to).
If you’re looking for a quick, funny read with a great message about family, definitely check out Oink! My Life with Mini-Pigs.