“Taproot: Coming Home to Prairie Hill” is now available! Order your copy today.
Here’s what reviewers said about “Taproot: Coming Home to Prairie Hill”:
A book for anyone who has ever fallen in love with Vermont.
— Rutland Herald
You might need multiple copies of this book: a pristine one for your library, several for gifts, and one to dog-ear the pages and highlight the many passages that strike your heart.
— Northern Woodlands
Molnar demonstrates that no matter how many newcomers sit down to write about Vermont, the talented ones will still find something new to say.
The outsider’s perspective is illuminating – and given the lyricism of Molnar’s prose, often inspiring.
— Seven Days
This powerful prose will charm not just those of us who also love Vermont – it’s for everyone who feels a strong attachment to particular places and wonders why.
—Bill McKibben, author, “The End of Nature,” and founder, 350.org
I had a couple hours and thought I’d dip into a paragraph or two. I kept going, couldn’t help it. Descended from survivors of Auschwitz, who saw cities as safe havens, Molnar, from birth, seems to have owned a quenchless longing for the emphatically exurban. What a fascinating, quirky and fabulously moving ride we take to get there with her!
— Sydney Lea, Vermont Poet Laureate
“Taproot: Coming Home to Prairie Hill” is about fulfilling fantasies as the nest empties and life shrinks. The author, a commentator on Vermont Public Radio, describes how she and her husband, children of Holocaust survivors, strive to overcome their nomadic lives through devotion to a place. They buy land on a Vermont hill, build a house, and begin a new life, learning to observe the huge bowl of sky, the windstorms, the seasons and the puzzling animal and human neighbors while struggling to restore the hill to its “natural” state.
Infused with wry humor, the story details some of the thousands of decisions in buying land and building a house–from learning to negotiate the language of real estate salespeople (“small pond” means wetland) to choosing among multiple kinds of toilets (does the costly “comfort height” mean we’re all uncomfortable on the others?) or “loud” vs. elegantly silent light switches.
Blended throughout is the story of survival, of moving beyond generational horrors, of finding strength in the natural world.
“Taproot” is a deft combination of memoir, nature writing and how-to book that inspires, entertains and informs.
Have you ever tried to pull up a dandelion? The thick root goes straight down, deep into the soil. You can’t yank it out without breaking the root, leaving a part of it in to grow into a new plant. If you dig out the whole root and move the plant to another spot, the plant will not flourish.
That’s how I think about the roots we put down on our hill; we cannot ever leave without leaving a major part of ourselves here. And we’d wither away wherever we’d move.