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Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (Lemons Trilogy)
 
 

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (Lemons Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Stewart
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

All Provenced out? Then head further south this year, to the breathtaking mountainous climes of Andalucia. Just don't be squeamish about driving over lemons.

Chris Stewart, skilled sheep-shearer and sometime Genesis drummer, took one look at the Alpujarr´s, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and decided that's where he wanted to be. This is the story of his adventures coming to terms with the terrain, the lifestyle and, of course, the locals, who possess all the rugged, homespun charm you'd expect. Stewart soon discovers all the hidden foibles of his bargain purchase, and spends the following year(rendered here in detail) installing the little luxuries of life like, say, water.

However, just when you're worrying that all this might degenerate into a rose-tinted "Englishman finds nature" idyll, Chris's wife enters the fray. Nonsense-free, straight-talking and relentlessly unsentimental, Ada should be a required resource for all travel writers. Ada gets bored with the fake machismo of pig-killing, Ada sees through the selfless "help" of the natives, Ada calls a peasant a peasant. With her on board, Stewart has the perfect counterbalance to his declared optimism, and Driving Over Lemons becomes a loving but clear-sighted encomium, economically and wittily written, to a wonderful part of the world. --Alan Stewart

Amazon Review

All Provenced out? Then head further south this year, to the breathtaking mountainous climes of Andalucia. Just don't be squeamish about driving over lemons.

Chris Stewart, skilled sheep-shearer and sometime Genesis drummer, took one look at the Alpujarr´s, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and decided that's where he wanted to be. This is the story of his adventures coming to terms with the terrain, the lifestyle and, of course, the locals, who possess all the rugged, homespun charm you'd expect. Stewart soon discovers all the hidden foibles of his bargain purchase, and spends the following year(rendered here in detail) installing the little luxuries of life like, say, water.

However, just when you're worrying that all this might degenerate into a rose-tinted "Englishman finds nature" idyll, Chris's wife enters the fray. Nonsense-free, straight-talking and relentlessly unsentimental, Ada should be a required resource for all travel writers. Ada gets bored with the fake machismo of pig-killing, Ada sees through the selfless "help" of the natives, Ada calls a peasant a peasant. With her on board, Stewart has the perfect counterbalance to his declared optimism, and Driving Over Lemons becomes a loving but clear-sighted encomium, economically and wittily written, to a wonderful part of the world. --Alan Stewart

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book that leaves you warm and happy 30 Aug 2002
By C Hyde
Format:Paperback
When one thinks of English in Spain, you automatically assume Frank Butcher types in tight Speedo trunks loitering drunk in Lineker's Bar and eating fry-ups all day.
Chris Stewart and his wife Ana are Ex-Pats, but with a difference. Rather than trying to make Spain English, they left these shore to adapt to the Spanish agricultural lifestyle, and enjoy the atmosphere on their new property in Las Alpajurras.
The book brings together a sentiment of blissful happiness, and you can almost smell the lemon blossom on the front cover.
I enjoyed this book as much as I did 'Mukiwa', by Peter Godwin, but without any of the poigniancy and heartache felt in Godwin's work.
A fantastic read, well worth 5 stars.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hot Spanish holiday without the jetlag 6 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I picked up this expecting a variation on the "Year in Provence" theme and found I was totally wrong. The Englishman abroad idea was still the basis of the book however, there the similarity ended. Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia is much more beievable and real. There is no feeling that the stories have been elaborated or embroidered. You sense a commitment to the simplicity of this way of life and that despite the popularity of the novel the family will not be "selling out" on this lifestyle. At the end I felt as though I had experienced the ups and downs of the first years with him. Whilst I came away knowing I would have hated it in many ways I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended and compulsive reading.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story As Warm As The Andalucian Sun! 4 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
An excellent narrative of Chris,Ana and latterly Chloe and their adventure buying a remote farm and adapting to living in Southern Spain. Not a taxing read by any means and this is indeed to its credit.The writing style of Chris Stewart is simple but sincere.Whether you are sitting at home reading this book in the mid of winter or in the summer sun on your holiday, this is a fantastic book. The subject of this book could have been so mediocre and boring: The reality is a book as fresh as the lemons they drove over! Do not miss it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Ex Genesis drummer Chris Stewart's great 1st book about him and his family moving from England to Spain is a great read ,from the difficulties in finding the right property to the general assortment of characters who pop up to help or hinder him and his family this book is a great advertisment for Spain and its people it makes you want to throw everything together and set off for Andulucia ,Stewart's easy flowing writing style makes this a great page turner and you will be finished before you know it .......
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Driving over Lemons 4 May 2004
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book, purely on impulse, whilst waiting at Manchester Airport. My companion had holidayed on the Costas on a number of occasions, but this was to be my first visit to Andalucia. We had booked to spend a fortnight in what was described in the brochure as "a typical spanish village house in a remote setting amongst the foothills of the Alpujara mountains", and neither of us was at all sure what to expect from the countryside and the people we would be meeting there.
We quickly settled in to our temporary new home and I opened the pages of "Driving Over Lemons" at the side of our little swimming pool on the outskirts of Durcal, a short drive south of Granada, with high mountains providing a dramatic backdrop.
Ten minutes or so later I realised with a start that amongst those mountains lay the location of Mr Stewart's book.
Long before I reached the end of the book I felt "at home" in Andalusia, confident of what I could expect from this wonderful place.
Oh, this is not a traveller's guidebook, (though the author has, in fact, written those, too). It is a story about a man and his family coming to terms with a dream, and about making a place for themselves within that dream. It is a story of an Englishman learning to live amongst the countryside and the people of Andalucia.
If you are planning to take a Spanish holiday away from the beaches of Southern Spain, you will find this book, and its sequel "A Parrot in the Pepper Tree" to be as essntial as your sun-lotion, and you must buy a copy!
If, on the other hand, you are NOT planning such a trip, I suggest that you buy the book anyway! You will find it almost as good as a real holiday in the sun - and as you turn the last page, I'd not be surprised to learn that you learn that you felt the urge to book a trip to see these lovely mountains and villages for yourself.
A most enjoyable and informative story, and I urge you to read it!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows life in rural Spain with love and humour 5 Aug 2001
Format:Paperback
I ordered this book with one of your £5 vouchers that I had won in a competition. This was an excellent read and was full of humour and evoked a wonderful feeling of knowing all the locals personally. As someone who loves the Spanish way of life it only served to make me more determined to get to my goal and move there. Chris Stewart's desriptions of the area and the local people were not airey fairy but was full of love and humour and shows that it is possible for an English family to move into the "wilds" of Spain and fit in, rather than congregating along the coast and only mixing with the ex-pat community. I would recommend this book to anyone and have done! It really was an excellent read and I look forward to the next volume.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Which isn't actually an entirely bad thing. I was recommended this book by a friend of mine, who evidently knows me better than I thought. Chris Stewart, the somewhat knaive eternal optimist, paints a vivid, radiant picture of what life is like for a foreigner living in Andalucia, while his wife interjects every now and again, bringing him back down to earth with a bump.
This is a fantastic, heartwarming autobiographical tale which will appeal to that little escapist inside all of us that secretly longs to get away from modern life and go and run a farm. Gently amusing, but never trying too hard, this is one of the best books I've read in a very long time
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars driving over lemons
after his adventure to capsize a boat this was a great follow up and no disappointment, his families life was a true adventure living in a foreign country, after all he had done... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Kenneth E. Boynett
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
I loved every minute of it..I will be reading the rest of the series.I hope they are just as good.
Published 3 days ago by BW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read.
Published 3 days ago by ca jacobsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Transports you to the author's world
Nicely written. Humorous and observant. The kind of book you can't put down, although it tailed off a little towards the end. A book I'll probably read again.
Published 4 days ago by rascallybear
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
A perfect holiday read, beautifully written, engaging and funny. El Valero, Domingo, sheep and mountain rivers. You'll fall in love with all of them by the last page.
Published 6 days ago by Mrs. R. R. Marriage
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delighted to have it again. I lent it and never got it back perhaps because it eas so good?!
Published 11 days ago by K. S. Croome
5.0 out of 5 stars ... is essential reading if you intend to visit this wonderful area of...
This book is essential reading if you intend to visit this wonderful area of Spain. The story of an Englishman trying to make a living from an impoverished and isolated farmstead... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Hard2please
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my wife has not put it down highly recomended
Published 15 days ago by John L. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved the series
Published 16 days ago by R A JONES
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed to be going well then I discovered I had ...
Seemed to be going well then I discovered I had only purchased the first chapter. My fault I'm sure . Although a few other people have mentioned they have done this too.
Published 22 days ago by Ailsa McLachlan
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