There is only one way this down-to-earth, honest book could be enhanced. That would be to hear the words in the author’s lilting voice. I was fortunate to witness Sue Massey at a local Meet & Greet author event at Barnes & Noble. Her loving connection to the audience and colorful, whimsical attire made me want what she had (before I skimmed the book). Along with her upbeat flair with words, she tells things about herself that most of us are afraid to reveal, let alone write. She gifts us with courage to be ourselves. Letter from the Heart spotlights the average Joe and Jane and pleads for America’s return.

Marcia Helgeson, writer

After I finished reading Letter from the Heart, I passed it on to each of my four adult children. The Massey’s journey is one of true love, unimaginable grit and relentless resilience. Sue Massey’s humble telling of her story leaves the reader with the inspiration and knowledge that, despite it all, we too can stand strong–not just surviving adversity in life, but thriving because of it.
Additionally, the reader will be transported to a life few of us have known–the workings of a family farm and the sacrifices made by those who dedicate their passion to growing our food. It might be impossible to ever pass a family farm again without reflecting on lessons learned in this story–love for the land, family, and ultimately, yourself.

Connie Finnegan, International Educator

Sue, I am so touched by the splendor of your story; the passion for family and farm life, the devastation over being knocked down over and over, the gratitude to those who reached out to you and Kenny, and the success in juggling a schedule impossible if your family had six mothers and fathers to handle all you and Kenny accomplished. It is an overwhelming experience in one family’s life. My admiration for your family knows no bounds.

Maggie Propps, retired business owner

Taste the uncertainty of powerlessness in bad economic times…
Being a copy/developmental editor and teaching memoir writing around the U.S. I have read more memoirs than one can count. In this memoir one can see, feel, taste the uncertainty of powerlessness in bad economic times. All this against the backdrop of warm animals, the comforting land, the soft connecting hearts of two people forging ahead no matter what. Sue Massey is the hero, along with her husband, of this memoir. It is through her writing we enter her world, her life, the texture of small town living and the deep roots she has in a country life. It is not only good writing, but a great story to read, to give as a gift, and to enjoy for years to come.

Sue Roupp, Copy/Development Editor

In this intimate and revealing memoir, Sue Massey shares the love and heartbreak experienced by what may be a diminishing breed in America — the family farmer. But there is so much more. This is a story of inspiration and encouragement. Sue Massey shows us that there are second, third and even fourth acts to be had, if one has the courage and conviction to follow one’s heart. It’s a beautifully told story and I am so thrilled to have had even a small part in bringing that story to a wider audience.

Joanne Morici, former articles editor at Family Circle Magazine

Letter from the Heart is a page turner: can’t put it down. This memoir took me on a colorful, sensual, emotional journey right to the center of the Midwest farmers’ American Dream unselfconsciously told by a woman with a gift for honesty, clarity, and true heart. Sue Massey poignantly lives what family means, and on a deeper level, invites us inside of her physical, emotional, and spiritual journey as woman, mother, farm wife, business owner, and spiritual seeker. Letter from the Heart is also a deeply political book without ever saying so; revealing the price paid, so few of us see, when big money smothers the livelihoods of family farmers whose contributions, moral integrity, and homespun goodness span generations; and who are then set adrift without the land that sustained them. I cried, laughed and felt extreme sadness and nostalgia for the America lost to corporate takeovers of thousands of acres of land, now used for growing genetically modified food for huge profits. I could go on and on but will let you, the reader, enjoy.

www.darvanderhoop.com

Dar Vander Hoop, senior yoga teacher at Inner Fire Yoga, and writer

In this intimate and revealing memoir, Sue Massey shares the love and heartbreak experienced by what may be a diminishing breed in America — the family farmer. But there is so much more. This is a story of inspiration and encouragement. Sue Massey shows us that there are second, third and even fourth acts to be had, if one has the courage and conviction to follow one’s heart. It’s a beautifully told story and I am so thrilled to have had even a small part in bringing that story to a wider audience.

Joanne Morici, former articles editor at Family Circle Magazine

I lost my mom to cancer almost 20yrs ago when she was 62yrs young.  Your expression of emotions experienced when losing your mother articulated feelings I’ve never been able to put into words. Your transparency and honesty are to be commended and your perseverance in your marriage is a true testimony to ‘love conquers all’.

Patti J.

“OMG. Wow, Sue! I loved your book. I have to tell you, I do not read books. I have not read a book since 10th grade, and I could not put your book down. It is an incredible story. I would love to meet you for dinner and tell you in person how the sharing of your life story has had an impact on me. I could so relate to many of the things you talk about in your memoir. It just amazed ,me.”

L. Peterson

“Sue, being a city girl I never, ever wanted to live on a farm. I thought it would be horrible. Reading your book has brought out the beauty of farm life. You showed me the beauty of a farm and how glorious and necessary farms are to America.
You have such a way with words. You have such a command over the English language. It’s as if you own it. To create beautiful scenes in someone’s mind with words. Your words illustrate the beauty. I have two pages left to read, and I don’t want the story to end.”

M. Propps

“First, the visuals were fantastic (I can still imagine you holding the dead kitten in the barn). The story is compelling. I found myself many times gripped by what was going on. I also almost cried a few times. I too have a child with ADHD and can’t imagine how strong you have to be to deal with that, four other children, the family farm etc. I felt like I had a much better understanding of what it is like to be a farmer. I knew it was hard, but now I know the ins and outs better. And I feel like a better person for knowing that. That is the sign of a good story. That and the fact that I talked to so many people about your story over lunches this summer. There are some universal messages of family that even if they aren’t the same for every family, are wonderful in the book and told VERY well.”

G. Thomas

“I loved it so much! Your writing and sheer honesty made me not want to put the book down. I have been telling so many people about it. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us the readers. After knowing you and your family for so many years it made me see even more what a special family that you have. I will be at your next book signing.”

Bob E.

“Just finished your book. :) You are somethin’ else. So strong and resilient (my word of the day)! You will give hope and strength to many by sharing your story. I really enjoyed the final chapter, your writing was very eloquent and beautiful. I love how you book marked the end with a “statement of faith”. Wonderful. And it was fun to look at the photographs at the end after reading all about you, your family, your pets, and your gardens…”

Mar S.

“Sue, until I read your book, I thought a farm was a farm. I didn’t realize how different they can be. You have written your story in a way that allowed me to walk in your shoes. I laughed, I cried, I struggled along side of you. From the moment we first met, I felt you were a special couple with a very special family, and reading your story has even confirmed it further. I have been so blessed to have known you. I love you both. I am sending my twenty dollar bill, and it would mean the world to me if you would frame it in memory of the first book you sold as a new author. I look forward to many more books, Sue. God bless.”

M. P.

“As a friend, a writer, and English teacher, I have tried to find the words to express the gut-wrenching loss on your faces in the iconic photograph for over two decades. I envisioned Kenny as looking to the past, you, shattered by the shock of the present, and little Naomi bewildered in what the future might hold. Then, I read your book, and Sue, it is absolutely perfect. It is beautiful. It is like a work of art with words. I now understand everything about the lingering questions I have carried in my mind all these years. I now know what it would feel like to grow up on a farm, something I have always wondered about. It has deepen my understand and respect for those who earn a living off the land.”

Connie F.

“Sue!!! I just finished your book and it was amazing!!! I felt like a peeping Tom sometimes because I know you and your family but thank you for telling your story! I know it must have been so difficult. I think it will help a lot of women find their voice!! I too have struggled with depression and eating disorders – would have never guessed that of you- your confidence and exuberance has always inspired me!! Hugs!!”

Nancy K.

“Absolutely loved your book, Sue, and am referring it to others! And the recipes were certainly an added bonus, as I remember your treats were always the best! I’m looking forward to reading more; love the way you write!”

Eileen R.

“Well Sue, I too have lost sleep staying up late nights reading your story. (And just so you know, I’m not a “reader” as a book has to capture me within the first few pages to warrant my time and staying with it especially in the summer time.) I would like to purchase a couple books for gifts to people who also enjoy the land and farm.
I also want to tell you that your book helped me make a difficult life decision recently. From reading your story, I was encouraged to listen to my own inner voice, as you did throughout your life/book.
Do you remember the time my home burned, and you told me you understood, you could relate, and I said no, you can’t, and you said, actually you could relate. Then, I read your book, and your story, and I had no idea. It has taught me that everyone has a story, everyone has hurt and pain and loss in their lives, and I see life differently as a result of reading your book. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for inspiring me. Frankly, I do not want the book to end. Every time I pick it up, I am amazed by your personal journey. Your story has the power to help many. Thank you, Sue!”

Nancy F

“Sue, I just finished your book and wanted to tell you how fantastic it was! You have an incredible way with words, I felt like I was in your world, experiencing everything with you. I didn’t want it to end!! Thank you for sharing such an amazing journey with us. :)

Ann W.

“I’m so glad you’re getting the feed-back and affirmation that you have coming to you. I think you have many blessings yet to come from this book….
“I was thinking yesterday, that you should try to contact Good Morning America and some of those T.V. shows that aired you and Kenny during Farm Aid. I think they would jump at the chance to talk with you about your book and your story. That would be an absolutely delicious conversation for them to have on their show – a story of courage and triumph and the indomitable endurance of the spirit. Especially in these confusing times a lot of people live in.
You go, Girl. And if you ever need encouragement, I’M IN YOUR CORNER!!!!!!
I loved reading the reviews you sent yesterday. What a testimonial to your sharing your story. Maron’s brought tears to my eyes. And this is all JUST BEGINNING!!!”

Gina G.
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