Cornfield Heiress is an interesting memoir that covers Errollynne’s first 60 years. She is nothing if not an adventurous lady, her life has been a series of great explorations, some satisfying, while most were not. On the tabloid TV shows we often hear the term ‘tell all’, where some famous personality’s life is laid bare for the titillation of the masses. Well Cornfield Heiress is certainly in the ‘tell all’ category. The reader is taken into some pretty dark parts of the authors life.
As Errollynne explains, the book came into being while she was undergoing breast cancer treatment and the prognosis was not so good. I am not sure that she originally intended to publish, more it was to be a testament about her life for friends and family to read. I for one am glad she took the step to get it into print, she covers a great deal of ground in 240 pages. Although it is a biography, it also reflects upon how society has changed over the past six decades.
Her early life was relatively uneventful, doing what most young girls did in those days. The story really begins in college, and her first steps into romance, or maybe it was just sex. Either way it was neither satisfying nor lasting, and acted as a template for much of the rest of her life to date.
Her natural wanderlust led her to her first job in Oregon, as a school teacher, teaching English and French. While she loved teaching she was always looking for that next thing, and this lady certainly knew how to find it. From corporate executive to Wine expert, to Carny traveler, she has done it all.
The reoccurring theme in Cornfield Heiress is her lifelong search for romance, and never quite finding it. For one reason or another her suitors never quite worked out. The stories in the book are less than flattering about some of her ‘conquests’.
Pregnant while in college led to what was basically a loveless marriage that did not last long. An unexpected bonus given to her husband, which he split with her gave her the ability to escape. That is exactly what she did, one morning the husband went to work, Errollynne dropped the baby off with the sitter, and left town.
Along the way she has also battled dieting, corporate prejudice against women, small town injustice and mentality, the sexual revolution of the 70′s, and a raft of other subjects.
Her latest life altering event is her bout with Cancer, although she has apparently defeated the monster it has come at a cost. Her right arm has become paralyzed as a side effect of the treatment. I have great empathy for the author, while my right arm is not paralyzed I have little feeling in it which makes many tasks really darned difficult. I was never a very neat writer, but now my scribbles are totally illegible, dealing with shirt buttons, or using devices like remote controls and cell phones is equally frustrating.
She has finally settled down and has returned to the field of teaching. It is strange the way that life is often cyclic, regardless of which direction you set off on, you return eventually to the starting point.
Errollynne Peters is not a famous person, she is not featured on TV, but that does not mean that her story is not important, Cornfield Heiress is a great read.