Castoff - Jan Murra, JoAnn DeSnyder Rolfe This was a great book about the true adventures and ordeals of an American family on a French Farm!Jan was persuaded to purchased a farm named Vezat near the village of Saint-Cyprien in southwestern France by her husband to get back to the 'simple' life away from "the drugs and violence rampant in our culture". Jan, along with her 4 children under the age of 11 and 2 dogs, were deposited on Vesat which was crumbling and dilapidated while her husband went back to the states to get his business affairs in order. From the descriptions, the house sounded more like a barn and the barn and bedding area for the animals was actually attached to the house. Her husband, Rob, became only a visiting presence on the farm finally announcing that he had met someone else.So there Jan was in southern France with little children, no husband and a farm that needed a lot of work! At this point many would be screaming, tucking their tails, and returning to the states. This woman didn't give up! Her courage and hard work to make Vesat a working dairy farm were inspirational. Acclimating themselves to the culture and the language of France, the family seemed to thrive amidst every obstacle known to a farmer. Jan became known for her love of animals and 'orphans' were often deposited on her door. I loved the descriptions of all the animals and her children; getting up every 4 hours to feed an orphaned lamb a bottle, buying a turkey to raise for Thanksgiving only to have it follow her around like a puppy, naming all the cows and learning how to milk them.Unlike other books I have read about moving to France, in this book Jan does not sugarcoat the experience. She tells the reader exactly how things were, both good and bad. I recommend this book to those of you who like to read accounts of others experiences. You won't be disappointed!