The Egg and I

The Egg and I

Book - 1945
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Publisher: Philadelphia, New York J.B. Lippincott company [1945]
Characteristics: 287 p. 21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 03, 2018

Well said by one commenter: I found her negative tone tiresome. I couldn't finish the book. I didn't see much humor - perhaps because her style of writing seems like one complaint after another. I've read other books/memoirs about great hardships that manage to write without such a negative spirit. Poor Ms. McDonald....she has no love or tenderness for anyone in the book. Not even her daughter, much less her husband.

Jul 23, 2017

Wow, just wow!! I am amazed by some of the comments here from people who apparently know nothing about history. This book was written in the 1940s. They did not have political correctness then. If you met members of another race or culture and didn't like them, you were free to say so. I'm so sorry if this upsets you. Perhaps you could initiate a movement to rewrite all of literature from the beginning of time so that it is politically correct for 2017, if that would make you feel better.

I would also like to point out that Betty MacDonald was in fact sued by several people who claimed they were portrayed in the this book, and she WON the lawsuit.

All of that said, I grew up reading Betty MacDonald's books, loved them, and still do. All of them take place in Washington State. "The Egg and I" was her first and most well known best-seller. It is a hilarious although highly fictionalized account of her life on a chicken farm with her first husband, and she was indeed an early feminist in that, in HER time, it was not considered acceptable for women to express their dislike of the lives their husbands expected them to lead.

Feb 17, 2017

Not clean, or funny, or politically only incorrect, but racist, negative, and ugly. I read it as a 7th grader in the mid 1950's in southern Indiana and learned the phrase "son of a *itch" from it. My mother was appalled. I thought the characters were disgusting even then, especially the mother.

Feb 15, 2017

brigpa1 Feb 15, 2017
Although B MacD was not particularly likable as a character, she can be excused because she was just plain unhappy. She was miserable, but, like women of her generation, she had been indoctrinated to think that her husband's likes and dislikes, wishes and dreams were all that mattered. I would say that the suppression of women is the theme that screams out loud and clear. There was not one empowered woman anywhere, although we see the beginnings of this realization at the end.
This was a best seller for 2 yrs in the mid 1940s. Women were starting to identify the dissatisfaction with the role that was relegated to them but did not dare express themselves.

May 15, 2016

I found this incredibly offensive. Classist, self-absorbed, an unlikable writer. I read later that the neighbors she insulted won a lawsuit against her for defamation of character and thought, "good for them!"

Oct 22, 2015

One of the great book about the Pacific NW. It tells about a naïve girl who lived in Seattle getting married and moving to a chicken farm near Port Angeles in the 1920's. Betty McDonald is unique in a class of writers. She makes me laugh so hard I have to put the book down. You want to know what it was like in the 1930', 40's in the Pacific Nw. Read Betty

Jul 24, 2015

I truly enjoyed this book; it was laugh-out-loud hilarious in spots. The racism is shocking, by today's standards to be sure, but the colorful depictions of her neighbors and the situations in which she finds herself counterbalance the negatives. Try to read her biography; it will add to your understanding of the author.

Jul 22, 2013

MacDonald, famous for her Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books for children, writes amusing memoirs about homesteading and chicken farming in the Pacific Northwest. Since the book was published in 1945, it does contain some references that we would consider politically incorrect, especially concerning American Indians. This was not bothersome, but the overall tone of the book was. Although some anecdotes are hilarious, I found her negative outlook to be tiresome.

mrsh600 Oct 16, 2012

Great book! Very refreshing to read a "clean" book, full of humor and great depiction of a city girl trying to make it on a chicken farm...much like Lisa from Green Acres! FYI a movie of it was made in the 1940's starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray...very funny.

Aug 26, 2012

Funny, moving account of life on a chicken ranch in rural Washington in the 1920s. Warning, though, part of it is *very dated* and *very racist.*

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

KCLibrary owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top