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The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (The Lemons Trilogy) Paperback – 4 Jun 2009


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The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (The Lemons Trilogy) + A Parrot in the Pepper Tree: A Sequel to Driving over Lemons: A Sort of Sequel to "Driving Over Lemons" (The Lemons Trilogy) + Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (The Lemons Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sort of Books (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956003826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956003829
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Wonderful - funny, affectionate, no hint of patronage... Tuck this book into your holiday luggage and dream. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

Third book by the best selling author of Driving Over Lemons. Abridged edition --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ellingham on 1 Jun 2006
Format: Paperback
Well, I have read the book and can report it is just as funny as "Lemons" and "Parrot", and even better written. Those of us who have followed Chris's escapades in those books will be pleased to know that he is still at El Valero, his Spanish mountain farm, and still just as full of zest for life as ever. In "Almonds" we get to see Chris coping with his daughter Chlöe becoming a Spanish teenager, and laugh aloud through further farces on the farm, like when the police come to arrest his scarecrow, or when he louses up his entire olive crop.

But there is also a serious - and new - strand in this book, which is Morocco, Africa and Fortress Europe. Chris finds himself on the frontline of immigration to Europe when a group of Moroccan youths turn up, en route from a terrible, dangerous crossing of the straits to seeking work in the greenhouses around Almeria. They walk the backroads to avoid detection, and pass by El Valero. Caught up in their plight, Chris goes to work in an advice centre in Granada, and, as you would expect, he is not cut out for office work! He then retraces the immigrants' route, with writer friend Michael Jacobs, but ends up eating more jamon and drinking more wine than is strictly Muslim. It's all described as a self-deprecating farce, but beneath the humour he has a point to make about tolerance. We also get some marvellous descriptions - perhaps the best writing Chris has done in any of his books - about his own time in Morocco, a few years back, scratching a living seed collecting in the Middle Atlas.

All in all, this is another great slice of Stewart and one that remains entirely rooted in 'real life' - very far from the ex-pat ramblings of so many of his imitators. Most important, he remains an irresistibly funny writer, with a voice uniquely his own, and a style of storytelling that is never less than engaging.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By PennysHubby on 22 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society contains more stories from Chris Stewart and his farm in the hills of the Sierra Nevada. This is a collection of stories rather than one story from start to finish. I don't think it is as laugh-out-loud funny as his second book (A Parrot in The Pepper Tree) but I don't think the books are sold for their comedy value. The stories are interesting, and include re-tracing the route of illegal immigrants from Morocco after a few stopped by his farm and another story follows his travels through Morocco to harvest a particular plant for one of his money raising schemes. I almost feel part of the family because the characters and scenery seem so familiar. I really hope Chris writes another instalment but I worry that he'll run out of genuine stories soon because his life these days probably revolves around meetings with publishers in London rather than living on a small farm in Spain.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Charles Clasen on 1 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback
Readers of Chris Stewart's earlier titles can rightly expect to be rewarded in his latest volume with another charming, playfully self-deprecating account of everything he turns his hand to, and an empathetic appreciation of the people he runs into.

Once again, we are treated to a delightful but informative romp through matters that most of us know nothing about - from dung beetles, frogs, dogs, trees, sheep (and their droppings), to olives, Costa wine and the eponymous almond blossom. All this set in the now familiar landscape around El Valero, the family cortijo in the Alpujarras in Southern Spain, at the junction of the rivers Trevelez and Cadiar,

As before we can count on his wife, Ana, and daughter Chloe - now a teenager, to provide quizzical counterpoint to some of his escapades, and on a charming coterie of local characters who accompany him on them.

But times change, and global issues reach even Alpujarreñan backwaters. Semi-starved illegal immigrants from Morocco ghost past his door, and Stewart feeds them, tries to simulate their furtive trek up from the coast. He works as a volunteer in an Immigrant Help centre in Granada. A seed-gathering expedition to Morocco years before is lovingly related, but hopes of helping his Berber helpers to escape their poverty trap ultimately came to nothing.

Climate change arrives with a vengeance. Life in the Alpujarras - always precarious and ever subject to extreme highs and lows, both physical and emotional - suffers unprecedented cold and severe drought. Crops are ruined, trees freeze and sheep risk starvation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Linda Kalsis on 19 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I've waited four years for this latest instalment of life at EL Valero and it's absolutely worth the wait. Almond Blossom contains all of of Chris' genuine charm and humour and gives some surprising insights into the way the Alpujarras are changing. It would be impossible to imagine Chris' neighbours inviting him on an Almond Blossom Appreciation walk in the first book. I loved his piece about olives and I'm glad someone has finally explained to me the best way to drink from a bota. The section on his trip to Morocco was a revelation. A lovely book to pack away and read with delight in the shade of a fig tree.
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