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Summary

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

What listeners say about The Olive Farm

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A charming easy listener

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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long windedno

Would you try another book written by Carol Drinkwater or narrated by Carol Drinkwater?

no

Has The Olive Farm put you off other books in this genre?

yes

Would you be willing to try another one of Carol Drinkwater’s performances?

no

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

It was like reading a tourists guide book

Any additional comments?

if you are looking for a book with a good story this is not it

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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real life in France

I enjoyed the story of starting a new life in France. The dream and the reality.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Problem oriented story steps to farm south France

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.

5 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended read

I bought this book on a special offer and I'm so glad I did, its well written and enchanting

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story

This was an interesting story for me ...as a Francophile and the ups and downs of living in France!
However ...I got slightly exhausted by the descriptive writing being a tad OTT

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

Was special to experience their lives, their adventures. Will listen to the next one eagerly.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderfully written and read

Carol’s retelling of her story is memorising, the descriptions of the places and people make you feel you are there with her. It is a truly inspirational read and listening to it read by Carol add the most fantastic depth to the story - recommending to everyone who will listen

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Olive Farm

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Rich and passionate

I like Carol Drinkwater as an actress but I think her books evoke warmth, passion and spark the imagination for the armchair dreamers.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • silkieweaver
  • 09-05-12

An enjoyable listen

Where does The Olive Farm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'd rank this title somewhere in the top third of all the books I've listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Olive Farm?

I thought the most memorable scenes involved Carol dealing with forces outside her control -- French bureaucracy, the locals, various animals, storms and fires.

Which character – as performed by Carol Drinkwater – was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it was perfect in about one-hour bites, as I listened to it on my lunch hour.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • IreneTH
  • 11-01-12

courage and chaos

Where does The Olive Farm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the personal memoir genre this book ranks very high.

What did you like best about this story?

the honesty of the author

What does Carol Drinkwater bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

I'm going to move on to the next olive book in her series.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-06-19

Read this book, rather than listen to it.

I enjoyed the author's story but I was surprised at the end to find she had also narrated the book. The author mentions in the book that she is an actress. However, I found her narration lacked emotional impact. There was little difference in tone between happy days/events versus trying/difficult days.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather Barney
  • 09-05-16

Most Pleasant

Would you listen to The Olive Farm again? Why?

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

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra D, Paradis
  • 05-11-12

Travel, Romance and DIY

What did you love best about The Olive Farm?

I liked hearing about following their dreams and dealing with some tough odds to make things happen.

Any additional comments?

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!

1 person found this helpful

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  • NathanHeinrich
  • 29-06-20

Carol Drinkwater is my Favorite Newly Discovered Author!

During these strange and challenging times of 2020’s pandemic, civil unrest and political turmoil, I desperately needed something to remind me what was real and what really mattered in life; The Olive Garden was just that beautiful reminder!
Set partly on the Mediterranean, in divine Southern France, this memoir of Carol Drinkwater’s early days, details the joys, struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs of reclaiming an abandoned villa and surrounding property complete with citrus and olive groves and transforming it into a productive, award winning, producer of olive oil.
Laugh, cry and hide under the covers in fear as Carol Drinkwater recounts this riveting tale in her own words in her own alluring voice!
The perfect antidote for fear. The perfect reason to exploit your own dreams. The exact reason why “biting off more than you can chew” is always the right thing to do when following your heart.
Listen and Love!
Thanks a million times Carol! I only hope to sit down and discuss this story with you in person one day over a dish of olive oil and a glass of Rosé.

Cheers!

- Nathan Heinrich

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  • A. Landry
  • 27-09-19

Could have been so much better

Chose this book because who doesn't dream of owning a farm/vineyard in France or southern Italy? Ever since Under the Tuscan sun, Americans have been fascinated with the idea of leaving the US for a sun drenched property overlooking the Med. Problem here is the way she jumps around between matters of the farm and her acting life, and it is distracting. Add in that she appears to care for her dogs and then mentions nothing about their welfare and I came away thinking she was a bad/careless dog owner. She also tends to be a bit histrionic about every obstacle and I grew irritated with this helpless, frustrated approach she had to every challenge. Not what I, as a urban farmer, expect from someone who loves and works the land. When you own acreage and/or a farm, sh$t happens and trying to create drama out of small obstacles got tiring as the book went on. What was nice was her descriptions of the land and I felt myself seeing it through her eyes. Her tendency to overdramatizing everything hurt the charm of the book.

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  • Virginia Sanden
  • 01-10-16

Delightful!

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