"Avoiding the usual bland elegy for the rustic and redemptive, his book is a valuable memoir, both personal and social, a meditation on belonging in one of many Englands." (OBSERVER)
"a hard-edged and moving account of life in rural Britain today" (SUNDAY TIMES)
"Compelling and often deeply moving...Walthew has a genuine gift for bringing both people and places to life and marshals his runaway real life narratives with a novelist's skill." (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
"I read A Place in My Country with absolute unalloyed delight. A glorious book." (Jeremy Irons)
"he finds a farming heartbeat that is proud and defiant, defended by a cast of characters that outshine The Archers. A revelation of a book" (Tim Butcher, author Blood River)
"affecting and inspiring memoir...required reading for anyone who claims to know or love this country" (FINANCIAL TIMES)
"Funny, touching and ultimately very moving, this is a beautiful, unsentimental account of a personal loss that is reflected in the rapidly changing texture of life in rural England." (Clover Stroud SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
"a riveting read" (COUNTRY LIFE)
"The book is a fascinating snapshot. All of life is here - birth, death, struggles with illness, hard work, lots of laughter. It will make you smile gently to yourself, laugh out loud, shed a quiet tear and feel angry at the changes happening in our countryside." (NFU'S COUNTRYSIDE MAGAZINE)
"This is a great book, if you like to have your misconceptions about our land thoroughly challenged." (BBC COUNTRYFILE MAGAZINE)
"Well written and well constructed, this is an enjoyable, funny, often poignant book, and one that will resonate with many New Zealanders." (CHRISTCHURCH PRESS)
From the Author
I am neither an academic nor a journalist, so this book was never intended to provide either a complete or an entirely balanced view of even a few hundred acres of England. Indeed, in my decision to buy what was once the home of an agricultural labourer, I was no neutral observer; in fact I was a participant in some of the problems that I describe. Nor am I an expert on farming or modern estate management; nor do I offer any real solutions to the problems facing the lives of country people.
There are many voices I did not hear, many people I did not meet, and many things I have learned since; there is yet more I am still to understand.
Mostly, though, I hope I will take the reader to a world that, for all its mutability, is nonetheless how I like to think of England: regions of breathless beauty, full of devilment, humour and rich untold histories.
From the Back Cover
After a decade abroad as an emotional refugee from tragedies that he thought he had escaped, a high-flying publishing executive is reluctantly transferred back to London from Paris. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Ian flees his job and urban lifestyle to live in the Cotswolds.
Ian and his Australian wife Han appear to be living the rural dream, but it is their touching friendship with their struggling neighbour Norman - a ramshackle farmer, squeezed between weekenders' pony paddocks and modern agricultural estates - that begins to open Ian's eyes to other rural realities.
And as memmories of Ian's English past return, is this a place he and Han can finally call home?
'Funny touching and ultimately very moving...a beautiful, unsentimental account of a personal loss that is reflected in the rapidly changing texture of life in rural England' Sunday Telegraph
'A tale of moving to the country that even those who actually live and work there might enjoy' Shooting Times