It’s no secret that I love memoir. I love reading about unique experiences and connecting with writer’s deepest self. That’s what it’s all about, right? And this is what first drew me to Melanie Hoffert. Her prose is poetic and packed with emotion and observation. The honesty is on very page and the life she writes about made me see things in a different way.
In Prairie Silence: A Rural Expatriate’s Journey to Reconcile Home, Love, and Faith, Melanie writes about growing up in North Dakota, a place I’ve never been (and will likely never have a chance to visit), and about the beauty and challenges of the dramatically changing landscape there. Rural America. The prairie. Life on a farm. Church camp. Being gay. What I know, and what Melanie shows here, is that regardless of who we are and where we come from, we are all more alike than we’re different.
Melanie left North Dakota, as so many others have done, and moved to a city for opportunity and a better life. Years later she returned to her family farm for a harvest season. “The prairie is a hard place to stay – particularly if you are gay and your home state is the last to know.” I started reading it again when the books first arrived in our office in December and I found myself immediately drawn in again. In all the ways that Melanie opens her heart in this memoir, it opened my eyes and I feel wiser for having been down this road with her.
Her video really captures the mood of the book and I hope you’ll take a look. More importantly, I hope you’ll read this captivating book. I promise you Melanie Hoffert is a writer you’ll be glad to have met and I’m hoping we see lots more from her.