When the going got tough when you were younger, your parents probably told you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps — and author Mardi Jo Link does just that in her memoir. The perfect storm of setbacks hit Link in the summer of 2005; she and her husband of 19 years decide to separate, leaving her with heaps of debt and three sons to care for on their work-in-progress dream farmhouse in Northern Michigan.

It’s her unwavering love for her boys and the land that helps Link stay positive during these trying times. She can barely support her clan between editing and freelance paychecks, but the mama tackles the tough winter with an unbreakable optimism. Link presents “Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm” tonight in St. Paul. 7 p.m. Free. —HS

SubText: A Bookstore, 165 Western Ave. N., St. Paul, 651-493-3871, subtextbooks.indiebound.com
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