Award-winning author and essayist, Laura Lyster-Mensh, explores the moments when the most natural course of things is the last thing she expects. Humbled by fertility issues, she learns the true promise of living a natural life when she moves her family into the woods and gets pregnant, tripping over goats and myths and inevitable losses. A story of humility, family, and the truly messy business of an organic life.

The Specific Scent of Snakes

"A haunting, heartbreaking, heart-healing memoir."
Susan McCorkindale Pearmund,
author of Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

"What first struck me about Laura Lyster-Mensh’s writing was her rather distinctive, and lyrical prose. And her choice of a book title, “The Specific Scent of Snakes” that similarly reflects the author’s personality, values, and life experience. A title that symbolizes Lyster-Mensh’s personal, detailed, and difficult struggle with pregnancy, infertility, loss, and triumph. All framed in an old, rustic house away from the city, and out in the country. One complete with mice and snake skins. Yet a home where her husband, her daughter, and their friends, and extended family all share to different degrees, the authors hope, anguish, tragedy, and resolution...

"Perhaps the author's experience shines best in the next to the last chapter, “In Humility “. Here Lyster-Mensh shares rare insights about infertility’s impact on adoption, and adoptive families."
Joanne Wolf Small, MSW, LCSW-C
author of The Adoption Mystique