This is the premise of the fascinating novel, “A Year on Ladybug Farm” by Donna Ball.
Three close friends and neighbors, Cici, Bridget and Lindsey, find themselves at a crossroads in life and long to do something different, something unique. Bridget has recently become widowed, Cici divorced, and Lindsey retired from her teaching position. So when the opportunity to purchase a dilapidated old house in the Shenandoah Valley comes up, the ladies decide to make the leap from their comfortable suburban lives and become lady farmers.
They soon find out that they truly have their work cut out for them, as the house is in worse shape than they thought, and inhabited by hundreds of thousands of ladybugs. As they work together to restore the house (and to shoo the thousands and thousands of ladybugs out), the gals find strengths inside themselves they never imagined. Even though the day to day activities are strenuous, a calmness and appreciation for beauty of the simplest things becomes important to the three friends.
As the trio work to bring the house to a livable condition, it soon appears that a mysterious guest might be living among the numerous rooms, a helpful if not ghostly guest who keeps leaving clues and solutions to the myriad of problems the ladies encounter. There is also the problem of a gang of renegade sheep and a certain garden thief who keeps the girls stepping lively as they adapt to country life.
Author Donna Ball weaves a delightful story of friendship, resilience, and confidence in her latest book. Readers will find themselves chuckling on one page, then tearing up a few pages over. No stranger to the world of fiction, Ball has published over eighty works of fiction under a variety of pseudonyms as well as her own name. With “A Year on Ladybug Farm,” Ball promises future stories about the gals down on the farm, and I for one am looking forward to the tales.