Jennifer McGaha


Jennifer’s memoir, Flat Broke with Two Goats, blends stories of homesteading with the journey of two people rediscovering the true meaning of home. When her family experienced a financial crisis of epic proportions, her world changed. Desperate to save money, she and her husband foreclosed on their modest home in the country and moved to a one-hundred-year old cabin in a North Carolina holler. There, what began as a last-ditch effort to settle their debts soon became a journey that revealed both the joys and the challenges of living close to the land. Told with bold wit, unflinching honesty, and a firm foot in the culture and traditions of Appalachia, Flat Broke with Two Goats is a story of loss, reckoning, and healing.

“This sweet miracle of a memoir tells the story of a struggling couple who have to lose their house, and just about everything else, to find home.” – Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was Mine

“An easy read with a warm tone, like hearing from an old friend, McGaha’s memoir is touching, funny, and hard to put down.” – Booklist

“An enjoyable, back-to-the-land memoir.” – Library Journal

Now available from


Barnes and Noble

Indie Bound






60 thoughts on “Jennifer McGaha

  1. I just finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Your writing style is so comfortable…I felt like I was sitting next to you as you told me your story. It will be a favorite to sell in my store! If you ever want to visit the beach, come to Topsail and we’ll do an event!

  2. Carol Lee Vickery

    Jennifer, your book just popped up as a recommended read and I ordered immediately for my kindle. Then I got to thinking…is she from the McGaha family in Transylvania. I googled you…saw your Muddy Sneakers story in Smoky Mtn Living and concluded you must be! What a wonderful family, love the Chapel, the “Sons of Mercy and Justice” We are south for the winter but so good to have a bit of “God’s Place” in my living room this morning.

    Getting ready to start a fun afternoon with a good read.

    Best wishes,
    Carol Vickery

  3. kim kotars

    I am home in Chicago home with the flu. I just read your book in one sitting and oh my gosh, what a great wonderful story! So glad you had the courage to tell your story and share with the world. Congratulations and thank you!

  4. Barbara Groome

    I met you at Malprops and heard you read from your book. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading Flat Broke with Two Goats! It delighted my heart. I love how you write so honestly about your situation but also how you reflected and grew throughout the story. I feel as though I know you. Thank you for a warm-hearted read – I wish you the very best in your literary future.

  5. Betty Tignor

    Started your book yesterday and finished it today. Loved it: your story, the animals’ stories, the back to basics story. I live in the Asheville area so know many of the areas you mentioned. I feel better and wiser after reading your story. Thanks.

  6. Jeremy Maxey

    I live in Mobile, Al. but have family in and about Blue Ridge Ga. as well as Andrews Nc. Having spent quite a bit of time in your corner of the world, I could envision all of the mountains, falls the back roads and critters that you bring to life in your book. Being a bit world weary and ragged at the moment myself, I found inspiration and tremendous hope as I turned each page. Thank you so much for sharing your ordeals and triumphs, the telling of which has lifted my spirits.

  7. Charles Skinner

    Great writing Jennifer, There have only been three books I have read in one sitting. Flat Broke with Two Goats is #3. Thanks. I live in Asheville and Jackie Kuhn gave me her signed copy. Maybe we will cross paths someday. You are a woman of strong character.

  8. Jeannette Wennerstrom

    Hi Jennifer,
    Reading your book now, and while I cannot put it down and I am sad to be almost finished. I also right before your book the current best-seller the Woman in the Window and I have to say yours is better….hands down! Thank you from Bainbridge, OH a suburb of Cleveland.

  9. Shirley Washenberger

    Is your book “flat broke with 2 goats” available anywhere other than Amazon? I don’t like to order online. Would love to read it, but the only bookstore near me is Books-a-Million. Also buy books at Walmart or Sams Club.

    1. Hi, Shirley. Thanks so much for asking about my book. It is available at Sam’s Club – at least at the ones in my area. It’s also available at Target, Barnes and Noble, and many independent bookstores. Where do you live?

  10. Peggy Bogardus

    I loved everything about your book. Superb writing, and your experience captured my heart. I hated to finish it today. I will be looking for anything else you have written and hope you do a talk in Brevard soon!

  11. humanbie

    Just finished your book. Wonderful story and I love your writing style. I can relate to many of your stories. After my father in law passed away 5 years ago, I inherited the responsibility of taking care of his 78 acre farm an hour north of Houston. It has become my oasis to escape the monotony of my “regular” life. I plan to retire there and spend my days as a gentleman farmer. I plan on getting goats.

  12. Reading the book now. I came to your website hoping to see a photo of the waterfall! I guess I will continue to use my imagination.

    Enjoying the book, by the way.

  13. Leslie Chesher

    I just finished reading your book. I loved every second of it and could not wait to get back. I read it in less than 2 days. Looking forward to another one at some point by you!

  14. Angel Daley

    Hi, Jennifer! I’m listening to your book now. I would have loved to hear YOU read it. I heard your interview on the ProfessionalBookNerds podcast and loved it. Hubby and I are facing financial difficulties (he hasn’t been able to find a job in almost a year) and I filled him in on how you and David dealt with it. He shook his head no. He’s not the farmer type! LOL. But now I want chickens and goats!!! Are you on Instagram??

    1. Hi, Angel,
      Thanks so much for listening to my book! I so hope your financial struggles resolve soon. I am on Instagram – @liberalgoats. Hope to connect with you there!


  15. Michele Carrell

    Bless the writer who invites the reader along for the ride, the bumpy, wobbly, and glorious ride. From the abusive first husband, the financial awakenings, the job strains, the commitment to the second husband, goat mothering, to awareness of your heritage—-you were someone I cried over, laughed over and finally said, “Ya done good.”

  16. I so enjoyed reading Flat Broke with Two Goats. This so parallels my own life. We are also native North Carolinians that went through foreclosure during the recession, death in our family during that time and then, getting back to nature and falling in love with our chicken friends and goat babies.
    The book touched so close to all we have endured and came out better people for having been through the difficulties.
    Beautifully written

  17. veronica tenant

    Couldn’t wait to get home to read it- couldn’t wait to read it when life took me away from it. The novel Flat Brook and 2 Goats was a story that contained all of my worst fears. It sometimes read like a horror story: financial ruin, untamed and tamed animals and critters, living in the bush and I thoroughly enjoyed living
    vicariously . Laughed out loud in a few places, shook my head at some of the antics, but there was such a feeling of liberation and courage in the story. When is the sequel?

  18. Michelle

    Your book was fascinating and very educational. I too often wish I had more practical skills. Regret I didn’t get to tKe shop or auto mechanic classes in high school. You have done an amazing job coping with such great life changes. I look forward to reading about your further adventures. Do you have a blog? Thank you.

  19. jmonnin

    I just finished your book today for Big Library Read, and really enjoyed listening to it (I like to listen to books at work). I live in Appalachian Ohio, and found so much of what you said relate-able to myself and the people of this area. I found myself thinking about raising sheep for 4-H while growing up and comparing their temperaments to your goats. Our sheep always birthed during blizzards too. Something about if they can’t leave then the predators can’t get to them either.
    Oh, and I’m also a Jennifer, so that made your book that much better. Anyway. Rooting for you guys!

  20. Jennifer Rains Butler

    Loved your book! My 28 yr old daughter is floundering and considering giving it all up and homesteading in Tennessee. We live in Raleigh, NC. Will most definitely send her a copy of Flat Broke! Mother lived through your experience when she married my Kentucky Bad Boy father. Although he left the mountains to become “civilized”, of course, the mountains never left him. As we drove to Kentucky, his accent would slowly turn pure mountain. He wrote a few books trying to capture the experience-I wish he could have taken a few writing lessons with you! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful story.

  21. Jo

    Your story is my perfect blend of good writing and recipes! Thank you for sharing . I wish the very best to you and your family.

  22. Linda

    Just finished the audio version. Loved it! It was so true to how life really happens. I hope that you-and the goats-continue to do well.

  23. Katheryn Horton

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m a busy professional living in bustling, overcrowded (yet beautiful in so many respects) Marin County and couldn’t wait to get home from work every day last week to read your book. It’s a weekly craving I have rid my business attire and live off the land. You satisfied that craving so splendidly with your gifted writing/storytelling/thinking. Can’t wait to read your next memoir!

  24. Cynthia

    Hi Jennifer, I’m glad I decided to attend your reading at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. I enjoyed listening to your voice in the words instead of my own. As I said Taco Soup is now on the rotation. I expected you to come across as sorta “tough”but you are a very gracious lady.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s