Hilarie Burton had it all as an actress in NYC and LA, but she wasn’t being fulfilled. The industry that had helped her achieve her first dream had taken so much away, and was not sustaining her. Burton and her future husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, take a huge gamble on a cabin in Rhinebeck, NY to try to recapture their dreams and get back in tune with who they are. What follows is an incredible journey into farming, parenthood, marriage, and finding their community. Burton touches on the highs and lows of juggling life, from revitalizing a local business, to the struggles of infertility, and both the backlash and support of the #MeToo movement. She is a warrior, a goddess, and exactly the kind of storyteller you want on your bookshelf.
-Clare— From Clare's Recs
New York Times Bestseller
The beloved actress and star of One Tree Hill, White Collar, and Lethal Weapon, Hilarie Burton Morgan, tells the story of leaving Hollywood for a radically different kind of life in upstate New York with her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan—a celebration of community, family, and the value of hard work in small town America.
While Hilarie Burton Morgan's hectic lifestyle as an actress in New York and Los Angeles gave her a comfortable life, it did not fulfill her spiritually or emotionally. After the birth of their first son, she and her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the star of The Walking Dead, decided to make a major change: they bought a working farm in Rhinebeck, New York, and began a new chapter in their lives.
The Rural Diaries chronicles her inspiring story of farm life: chopping wood, making dandelion wine, building chicken coops. Burton looks back at her transition from urban to country living—discovering how to manage a farm while raising her son and making friends with her new neighbors. She mixes charming stories of learning to raise alpacas and buying and revitalizing the town’s beloved candy store, Samuel’s Sweet Shop, with raw observations on the ups and downs of marriage and her struggles with secondary infertility. Burton also includes delicious recipes that can be made with fresh ingredients at home, as well as home renovation and gardening tips.
Burton’s charisma, wide eyed attitude, and fortitude—both internal and physical—propels this moving story of transformation and self-discovery. The Rural Diaries honors the values and lifestyle of small-town America and offers inspiration for anyone longing to embark on their own unconventional journey.
About the Author
Hilarie Burton is an actress and producer best known for her role as Peyton on One Tree Hill, as well as her work as an MTV VJ, and her leading roles in popular Hallmark movies. She lives on a working farm in the Hudson River Valley with her partner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, their son Gus, baby daughter George, and a whole lot of animals.
"An honest depiction of how [Hilarie] transformed from actress to farmer in upstate New York, reconnecting to the land she grew up in and navigating motherhood."
— Marie Claire
"In her new memoir, actress Hilarie Burton Morgan candidly speaks about her love, life, careers and everything in between."
“From the realities of farm living, home renovations, and the struggles of growing a family and finding her footing after heartbreak, Hilarie’s warmth and humor are on full display. The Rural Diaries reads like a favorite girls’ night chat.”
— Country Living
"This funny, insightful look at Hilarie's time on her family's farm is a a must-read for anyone dreaming about giving it all up to live off the land—but it's also a reality check and reminder that 'the simple life' isn't always so simple."
— Town & Country
"Burton’s charisma and charm can be enjoyed in The Rural Diaries, which tells the heart-warming story of looking for her place in the world. She tells stories of life on her farm with her family, shares recipes and tips, and expresses the importance of finding acting roles that support and empower women."
— Refinery 29
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