For many, Carol Drinkwater will be forever remembered for her part as the wholesome Helen Herriot in the television series All Creatures Great and Small.
But since being a successful actress in England, she has spent the past 13 years in France with her husband Michel. This is the story of her new life, of the trials and tribulations of acquiring an olive farm, restoring it, farming the olives, overcoming the heartaches of taking on a new French family and slowly coming to understand the workings and life of a vivacious Provencal community - opening the door to vibrant Mediterranean world....
©2001 Carol Drinkwater (P)2001 WF Howes Ltd
One of the first audio books I bought was Peter Mayle's Year in Provence, having heard it on Radio 4's book of the week, and this is a return to similar territory but the with added interest of the development of an olive farm and the attendant technical and horticultural activities. The author narrator is an accomplished actress, who does an excellent job of bringing it all to life and overall it is a charming easy listener, which provided an interesting break from my usual crime and history diet.
It's a story about international family (Irish woman & divorced French man w. family) buying almost ruined house together. In story house is situated between Cannes and Frejus. Story is the Irish womans point of view.
First summer they move in before they own house. It's made possible by pre-payment and scheduled buying agreement. Starting without water, electricity and leaking roof they manage to spend a summer without quarrels. In the end she get's to stage of starting olive garden.
It's quite like Peter Mayle's Year in provence, but it doesn't concentrate French-English confrontation and secrets of France like Mayle does a lot. It's more problems oriented like handling bying a property as (Irish) foreigner and owning house as foreigner and living abroad. So if you are even thinking bying house in France this is really worth of listening.
Sample is too short to tell enough of this book. If you liked the "Year in Provence" you most likely end up bying more than this first book. I liked it and it was easy enough to listen as not a native English speaker.
A lovely easy ready. Really takes you to the hot countryside outside Cannes. Have not been able to put it down and definitely for anyone that craves sunshine and sunny days.
A wonderfully rich story full of tears and joy. I could hear, see and smell the beautiful French countryside. So moving in parts, I don't know how Carol carried on reading. Can't wait to download the next instalment!
It was a lovely listen, and it made me want to know more about Carol and her farm! I will buy the other 2 books ! Her reading.....or rather acting .....was also very enjoyable. However I felt that she 'over wrote' her story which was a shame!!
When I bought this book, I didn't realise it was an autobiography. I really prefer fiction. However, this was an entertaining listen that I was surprised to enjoy.
Beautifully written&narrated, a feel good story :)
Lovely book to stimulate imagination and relaxation + such a lovely narration voice. I plan to listen to the entire trilogy.
Won't be satisfied until I've listened to all the offerings relating to the author's Olive Farm and research experience ... I adore how C.D writes .... well recommended if you enjoy travel and new adventures.
It was like reading a tourists guide book
if you are looking for a book with a good story this is not it
This is my first audio book so didn't really know what to expect. However, it was easy to listen to and I enjoyed the story. I could smell and feel the farm and I enjoyed following the time Carol and Michel (and the others) spent there.
"An enjoyable listen"
I'd rank this title somewhere in the top third of all the books I've listened to.
I thought the most memorable scenes involved Carol dealing with forces outside her control -- French bureaucracy, the locals, various animals, storms and fires.
I found it interesting that she is a much more complex character herself than the one she is most famous for portraying on television. She is not afraid to reveal her quirks.
No, it was perfect in about one-hour bites, as I listened to it on my lunch hour.
"courage and chaos"
In the personal memoir genre this book ranks very high.
the honesty of the author
Carol Drinkwater's language, voice, and attention to detail.. She is an excellent and intelligent reader and uses language and description so well that you really can visualize her description of the area and all its attributes. This is a case, given her skills, that could only have been narrated by the author.
I'm going to move on to the next olive book in her series.
"Travel, Romance and DIY"
I liked hearing about following their dreams and dealing with some tough odds to make things happen.
This is a good book for those who like hearing about living in a different country, travel also about a new love coming together. Written and narrated by the actress who was the wife in All Creatures Great and Small. Wanted the second book but it is not on audible so I will have to read it!
I read this book many years ago and Carol Drinkwater's warmth came shining through. So too her audible reading. As a lover and former owner in the South of France, all the places, things and people were deliciously familiar to me. I could smell the smells, taste the tastes. It made me long to return. Thank you
I have listened to this book several times. It is beautiful. At first it made me want to move and have those same experiences then I realized that I need to create them in my own way, In my own home, with my own family. Love this book so much
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