Book Review: Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler


Jessie Knadler is a former New Yorker, living the country life in Virginia. This is a true story of how she fell in love with a cowboy/ U.S. Army Soldier and how he turned her life upsidedown. I first heard of Jessie Knadler through her blog, which is one of my favorite blogs to read because her stories are always funny, cute, and insightful, but her book isn’t any of those things (you can find the link under the blogs I love tab.) I thought the book would be more about her struggles/triumphs with being an Army girlfriend then eventually Army wife, but it wasn’t. It was more focused on her hatred towards country life and her distaste for religion.

Rurally Screwed: My Life Off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler is written more like a fictional story as opposed to a memoir. It begins when Jessie is writing for a magazine in New York. At the time, she was dating a guy who liked looking at “inappropriate” porn. I can’t even write what kind of porn he was looking at because that’s how wrong it is, yet she continued to date him because she didn’t feel like breaking up with him. I really didn’t understand the logic in this, and if this is a fact, I hope he is in jail. The story progresses into how she met her husband at a rodeo, her struggles with his first deployment with the U.S. Army Reserves, their short engagement, their marriage, and finally the birth of their first daughter. I loved reading Jake’s loving words while he was deployed. He truely loves Jessie and he has such an optimistic view on life, I wish I could always be as positive as him.

I did like reading about country life, even though Jessie hated it, and even though I didn’t like the book all that much, I don’t BLAME her for hating it. I know about my fair share of “country” living over here in Korea, and I’m not digging it, but at least she has a Wal-Mart. Although, I hate Wal-Mart and probably wouldn’t even go. I understand how hard it is to give up everything/everyone you love, everything you know, to move somewhere with the man you love. But that’s what you sign up for when you marry a Soldier, and that’s what you get when you marry a cowboy. Did she really think her husband would want to be a cowboy in New York City? I’m pretty sure that isn’t even possible. I just feel like she could have painted her memoir a little nicer. I understand that you can’t lie about your life, but there is a little bit of creative license when it comes to writing and I think she could have used it a little more wisely and left out all of the pot references.

I understand what it’s like to not be able to get a job, not be able to even leave the house on most days, but once again it’s what we signed up for. I can also relate with being tired of sewing, cooking, and cleaning. I do give her props for raising chickens and growing her own food, I do not have a green thumb nor any sort of tolerance for chickens!

With all that being said, I still really enjoy Jessie Knadler’s blog. I also think the book was just starting to get really good when it ended. I think writing a book about her struggles of being a new mom, in the country, while her husband was deployed, would make a great second novel. I had higher expectations for this book because, like I said, I thought it would be more about being a military wife, and less about putting up fences and making moonshine. If I wasn’t looking for it to be something it wasn’t, I may have enjoyed it more. The book was written well, which is always a plus.


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