I must say, I never thought I would fall in love with a book of non-fiction essays. Yet here I am, wishing there were more pages in the book, and quite frankly wishing I was like, Nic’s cousin or Elisa’s best friend from high school. Nic Esposito is a Rowan University alumni (one more year for me!) and he came to visit to give a speech, but had lunch with one of my clubs, The Undead Poets- a club for English majors who enjoy nerding-out about literature. Anyway, we had lunch together and he mostly just listened to us argue about Shakespeare (like I said, we enjoying nerding-out about literature), but the more I got to know him after lunch, the more I was thinking, “Wow, this might be the most interesting person I’ve ever met,” and months later, I’m still convinced of that. I bought his book that day after he read from it, and he told me that lettuce and spinach are quite easy to grow because they are strong-willed, hence the lettuce and spinach currently in my garden.
However, I hadn’t picked up the book again until now. In case I haven’t made it clear enough already, I loved it. Nic is so honest and genuine in his writing, and he uses a sense of detail so you feel like you’re there, experiencing it with him. I found myself being annoyed with Elisa when he brought bees into the house, and being really appreciate of her way with the kids, which Nic never quite found the words for. I tried to convince my parents to build an Earthship in our backyard for about a minute before I got blinded by their glares of annoyance (it should be noted that my Mom and I were simultaneously trying to convince my Dad to let us get chickens). I couldn’t stop my heart from getting all warm and fuzzy when the kids made dinner for Nic, and laughing out loud when they claimed there was no way he would be able to have dinner without Elisa there to cook it for him. My point is, I feel so connected to these characters, and even more so knowing that the characters have real-life faces and bodies attached to them. Maybe it’s just that I love the idea of an urban farm, or that before this book I could never imagine a life in a place like Kensington, or maybe it’s the way he writes with an almost hindsight-is-20/20-attitude. He talks about all the mistakes they made, all the good days they’ve had, and the reader can really get a sense of how he truly feels about his life and his choices. Nic is not only a great, honest writer, but a genuine person whose heart grows bigger every day. I definitely plan on reading more of his work, and hope that another book of non-fiction essays is in his future.