Listen free for 30 days

Up with the Lark

My Life on the Land
Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Joan Bomford, BBC Countryfile's Farming Hero of 2015, has lived all her life in the lush, rolling countryside of the Vale of Evesham, where cows graze the water meadows of the River Avon and modern life seems far away.

Farming is in Joan's blood. Generations of her family have worked the land, and in Up with the Lark, Joan tells us with warmth, wit and great insight what it's been like to live through an era of such enormous change. Now aged 83, Farmer Joan is still active, making hay, feeding the farm's beef cattle, and running the riding school that she dreamed of as a child.

A natural storyteller, Joan Bomford shares many heartwarming and magical events - like the elephant who came to stay and the gentle tricks played on the evacuees who refused to eat her mother's rabbit stew. Yet her life has not been one long rural idyll - Joan watched helplessly as her cattle were swept away in a sudden flood and witnessed the night sky alight with the German bombing of Coventry - and latterly she's had to deal with family tragedy.

Up with the Lark is a portrait of a forgotten era and a celebration of the qualities that make Joan Bomford an inspiration to us all: her passion for the land, a love of family and a determination to make the most of life.

©2015 Joan Bomford (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring read

My favourite audible book so far. It was a delight to listen to and the narrator was perfect for the part, so well read.It was inspiring to hear of Joan's life as a farmer and although not an easy one a truly happy life. Cannot praise this book enough it is like listening to the tales of your favourite grandma, a warm and friendly experience.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

delightful story of a remarkable woman.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you are interested in English farming, survival of the farmers over the years and a glimpse back in to how life used to be more simple then this is the book for you.

Any additional comments?

loved every moment of this book, i actually looked forward to the commute just so i could put my headphones back on. It was a charming story mixed with the struggles in the past. Life as it used to be when times were simple, low tech and when people had better values. . A moving story and a remarkable woman.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

what an insperational lady loved this amazing story. i would love to have known Joan and could listen to her tales all day long. Just Brilliant.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A LADY WHO WORKED AND LIVED BY EXAMPLE

This is my second read and I enjoyed as much this time as the first time.
A very enjoyable read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful Journey

Thank you Joan for sharing your life. I have been thoroughly captivated by your life's story. Narrator added to the visualization of your world.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magical

This bool brought back memories of my childhood in Staffordshire.

But bettet still were the messages given. Diversification. Nothing stays the same and when an opportunity is offered, following it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Up with the Lark

I enjoyed this book enormously. Thoroughly entertaining. The best book I have read for years and one that I will listen to again and again. The narration was perfect and fitted the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely fantastic

Such a wonderful life story full of fun and tear jerking heartbreak. A fantastic social history of the Vale documenting the second WW years through to present day.
The authors story reads with ease and fluidity Joan is an inspiring individual and a great contemporary role model.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

it made me think of my own parents life in farming and beyond. an incredibly moving book by an inspirational woman whose I should love to meet.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging

Good read keeps you Interested gives you as sense of get up and go attitude to life. Very much enjoyed it.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sara
  • Sara
  • 12-01-16

Up With A Love For Life

I really enjoyed this gentle and loving memoir. Joan Bomford clearly loves life, her family, the land, farming and hard work. She is a capable strong woman and beautifully conveys her story to the reader. Bomford captures the joy of tinkering with machinery and the pleasure of a difficult job well done.

I found it refreshing to hear about a life where families stuck together and were kind to each other--even though they, at times, saw things differently. It seems as though people often write memoirs to express anger or how unhappy their lives have been, how mistreated they were. This book is a breath of fresh air.

The author presented a window into farm life in rural England from her earliest memories in the 1930s through her 83+ years. The stories of coping during WWII--Joan being 14 when the war ended--were evocative of the general can-do mentality of the family and the farming community around them.

Bomford is a plain talker, funny, engaging and touching in the way she portrays the people she has encountered in her long full life. How great it was as a reader to meet a person who knows who she is and is happy being just what she is. A positive listening experience.

33 people found this helpful