The Map of Enough – Book Review

The Map of Enough

I have had the privilege of reviewing a new book entitled The Map of Enough by Molly Caro May. I really enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with you.

Molly grew up in a nomadic family, moving from one foreign country to another. She developed her identity from this nomadic life and in her mind never wanted to settle down.

However, things changed when she was nearing the age of 30. In 2009, Molly and her fiancé Chris had the opportunity to move onto 107 acres in the Gallatin Valley in Montana. Initially living in a cabin her folks owned they both dreamed of building a Mongolian yurt and staying on the land for a year and than taking their home and moving on.

Molly and Chris

Thinking it would only take a couple of months to build the yurt the couple immediately set forth to transforming an old garage into a wood shop and then started collecting and constructing the materials. As Molly soon found out construction takes much longer than planned. The actual time to build ended up being around five months instead of two.

They took on some real challenges as the yurt site is far up on a hill and they had to move all the materials up by hand, including a very heavy wood stove. Getting help from their neighbors and new friends they accomplished these tasks and move on to others.

Yurt in Summer

Living among the tall grass, deep woods, and wild animals opened up new challenges for Molly and she started feeling a real connection to the land and place. Her book shares this experience and the changes she goes through as she adjusts to her new surroundings. Once the yurt is completed and assembled she heads off to New York in a snow storm to complete the plans for the wedding. Molly soon finds out how anxious she is to get back to her simpler life in the yurt.

yurt and mountains

When Molly returns she turns to exploring the 107 acres and getting even more acquainted with her surroundings. She spends her days exploring and writing and figuring out how they can afford to extend their stay past the first year. She puts in a garden. Chris is developing his woodworking business and she is writing.

Join Molly on her journey and transformation as she embraces the land and living in one place.

yurt and stove

Five years later Molly and Chris still live in their yurt in Montana. They now have a beautiful daughter and are hoping to stay on “the land” many more years.

You can purchase the book here at Amazon and follow Molly’s blog here.

yurt in the evening

yurt living room

yurt bed

yurt uni

with roof cover

yurt entry

porch of yurt

walking on the land

the land

yurt in winter 2

yurt in winter

yurt and snow

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Levi - March 25, 2014 Reply

another title I found as helpful as the one listed above. More for creating your design and budget for a tiny home, but still very helpful http://www.amazon.com/Small-Home-Tiny-House-Estimate/dp/149601085X/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1395753541&sr=8-8&keywords=jobe+leonard

Soody - March 25, 2014 Reply

A little slice of Heaven. Fantastic.

Neato - March 25, 2014 Reply

How does a “nomadic family” happen to own 107 acres and a cabin?

Where did this “nomadic” couple get the money to build the yurt? For supplies? For anything?

The title of the book, “The map of enough”, seems misleading. I could be wrong but it seems to me that these guys started out with “enough” to begin with, e.g., land, inheritance, wealthy parents, trust fund, etc.

    Kent Griswold - March 25, 2014 Reply

    You need to read the book to get the complete picture.

      Neato - March 25, 2014 Reply

      Yes, I suppose that would help, and maybe I’ll do so, just to prove myself right, or wrong.

      But I smell pretense here and would find it to be very annoying should I read the book and learn that these two (or at least one of them) came from a life of privilege, as I suspect, instead of having to actually make it on their own, in their own way, as the book’s title and preamble seems to imply.

      It is easy to travel, obtain education, build, live, thrive, et al, on somebody else’s money, and I have no interest in those stories. I don’t relate to them, they’re largely meaningless.

      Is this one of those stories?

        Kent Griswold - March 25, 2014 Reply

        We have to be careful as readers and commenters on the internet not to assume things we do not know. Molly and Chris lived and built their yurt on savings from the work they both had been doing in the city. Neither parent was what I would call privileged. Yes, Chris and Molly are living on her parents land. Land that her parents had put their retirement savings into as a place where the whole family could come and meet together. Molly and Chris both work to maintain a lifestyle that works for them and their little family. I really would encourage you to read the book and than decide rather than make assumptions.

          Neato - March 25, 2014 Reply

          Sure, I understand what you’re saying. I get it. And that’s a pretty good rule to live by, on the internet or otherwise. But I’ve been around and find that my assumptions are more often correct than incorrect. I am judgmental, no denying that. Everybody is. Most people just can’t admit it.

          I’ve read a bit of the book online and find the content to be too precious for my tastes. And I read a review on Good Reads that pretty much supported my assumptions. I feel no need to go any further. But that’s just me. I’m sure plenty of people will like this book.

          I guess I’m just more of a Richard Proenneke kind of guy. No pretense, no falsity, no self-delusion. I like simplicity and honesty. Especially honesty. Most especially when it comes to writing. I don’t care for purple prose.

          You were likely sent a copy to review and you did a fine job. I’m just a man of opinions. A lot of people don’t care for that. Especially when the opinion offered is in opposition to that of the majority.

    Anne - March 25, 2014 Reply

    Neato, do you associate nomadic with poor and homeless? That in not now and has never necessarily been the case. (Particularly not now, the internet has opened up many opportunities to work outside corporate controls…) Also, sharing land with family is not all that shocking, until 3 or 4 generations ago it was the norm.

    (PS: Sounds an interesting book, Kent. Thanks for sharing your review.)

    lynn - March 25, 2014 Reply

    Just because you are a nomad doesn’t mean you are necessarily broke. Having been a gypsy all my life I can tell you there is money to be made in every city, town and country you visit if you are willing to work hard and love working with people. . . all people.

Hallyhook - March 25, 2014 Reply

Happy and whole, the child who gets to grow up there. Way to go, you three!

DeWhit - March 25, 2014 Reply

I am glad they are enjoying the time in the yurt.

It still reads as if it is just a temporary experience and short chapter of life after New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and whatever happens next.

The read does get to be a bit of metaphysical and seeking answers to things without answers that has been done by many.

I do understand the comments of the earlier poster about more day to day life experiences being shared. It is just a sign of the times that everyone recently seems to be blogging and spiritual and uplifting and seeking answers and fulfillment.

No one ever has to rebuild their chainsaw or lay in the cold fixing the truck drive shaft or paying bills. Those people don’t have time to blog.

Yurts just come across to me as always temporary in housing and life.

Cedar - March 25, 2014 Reply

I remember hauling all my materials up a mountain by hand when I built my first cabin……..

I look forward to reading this book. Sounds like a journey similar to mine – moving from a love of the earth to love of place specific. Love to see the yurt and surrounds.

Blessings to you and your family.

Anne - March 25, 2014 Reply

“No one ever has to rebuild their chainsaw or lay in the cold fixing the truck drive shaft or paying bills. Those people don’t have time to blog.”

They do… it is just that no one wishes to read it 😉 Seriously, all the ones who live their own existance do all these things also. They just do not define their life by it. The philosophy of most who live this way is that no one should have to… That if that is all you have to talk about, you have chosen that path.

    Neato - March 25, 2014 Reply

    Anne, I would have responded to your query aimed at me, but your query didn’t mesh with anything I had written, so I didn’t bother.

    What you have written here doesn’t make much sense, either. What does this even mean?

    “The philosophy of most who live this way is that no one should have to… That if that is all you have to talk about, you have chosen that path.”

    And just so you know, if it is written well and honestly, I am more than happy to read about people rebuilding chain saws, etc.

    DeWhit made some good points, and I agree with his premises. We’re today inundated with bloggers who, for some reason, think that their life is so interesting that it must be publicized for the masses via blogs and/or books, when most often, their lives are neither as interesting nor as unique as they’d like to think.

      Anne - March 25, 2014 Reply

      I would have thought it obvious this one was meant for DeWhit, considering it was a quote from him I used in it… Not sure why you thought I disagreed with it some how.

      My comment to you was placed under your comments to Kent, just before the other reader (lynn) who took your posts the same way. If you wish to converse more I will do it there, where it is easier for you.

        Neato - March 26, 2014 Reply

        Anne, it was obvious to me who you were responding to. The only thing not obvious to me are your comments.

        Your first response to me had nothing to do with anything I had written. So I didn’t bother responding to you then, as I’ve already stated. The reason I responded to you here is apparent if you read my comment.

        I never said anything about nomads being broke, or otherwise. Please feel free to quote me, if I did. Lynn commented in response to what you had written, not to what I had written.

        I don’t know how you figure it would be “easier for me” to converse with you elsewhere, but I am in disagreement. I don’t think you’d be easy to converse with anywhere, at any time.

        I’ve opined here upon a book review, just as you have. That you don’t care for (or even understand) my opinion is fine. But you’d do well to actually read the comments you’re responding to. You may find that your responses become relevant, instead of just confusing.

          Anne - March 28, 2014 Reply

          .lol. Okay Neato, you must take it as you wish.

          My suggestion to you would be to begin living the life you wish to, no matter what your past regrets, no matter your age… Those of us who always have are much happier people in general I find, and tend not to look for others to blame for our choices.

          George - March 29, 2014 Reply

          Hey NEATO…. It realy sounds like others are Wasting your precious time…because you must have it all figured out…why are you even WASTING YOUR TIME responding to something that makes others happy or intrigued???? Just curious … but you’ll have “the” answer I’m sure ! Happy Living

Susan - March 25, 2014 Reply

These two people did something most, who (do) have the option, choose not to do. They shared their experience in a book. Read it. Enjoy it. Or don’t. I was there for the “back-to-the-land” movement that started in the sixties. There is still zillions of written material being generated on the topic! For those with a yearning for a more pioneer prospective, there is plenty for you to read, too.(-;

    DeWhit - March 29, 2014 Reply

    I have also seen many social trends come and go and several involved in their way of life were too quick to announce their way as the only way and see it fall apart as life changes and life always chages.

    I can remember the words of a woman who was married to a friend of mine after they had the first child in the midst of the “back to the mountain” pioneer movement.
    She said, ” Try to seek out some groceries while you’re out seeking a God ! “

sally - March 25, 2014 Reply

I look forward every day to the e-mail from Tiny House it never lets me down. I love this Yurt post. Have always loved Yurts because they represent a certain freedom we don’t have in most of our lives. I will read the book. So many of us have forgot how to survive on our own and when we get back to some of that it makes us feel good. We feel an independence that we don’t have in this high tech world

Earl - March 27, 2014 Reply

Let’s see how they live thirty years on.

    Anne - March 28, 2014 Reply

    Earl, considering they appear to have lived a life chosen by themselves instead of by others, I would say it will be totally without regrets…

    (Reposted so it doesn’t appear Earl is talking to himself 😉 )

RAT - April 4, 2014 Reply

I’ve lived in Bozeman (the Gallatin valley) for 24 years. 107 acres here will run you 10-20 million. Also… I don’t believe a yurt is legal as a year round residence.

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