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The Magic Apple Tree: A Country Year Hardcover – Oct 1983


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Hardcover, Oct 1983
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (Oct. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030633990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030633997
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,322,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Hill is a prize-winning novelist, having been awarded the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewelyn Rhys awards, as well as having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and became a great success in the West End. Her books include a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel series about the detective Simon Serrailler. Susan Hill lives in Gloucestershire, where she runs her own small publishing firm, Long Barn Books.

Product Description

Review

This is a marvellous book. After reading many books which celebrate an 'escape' from England to sunny climes, here is the perfect antidote. Susan Hill describes life in a country village in England in the most marvellousr, warm prose - she occasionally veers a little towards sentimentality, but whatever sweetness the book contains is nicely countered by a true eye for detail. This is a comforting, reassuring read which nevertheless has the overall effect of challenging the reader to think about his own life, what he is doing with it, and whether that is how he wants it to be. Highly recommended. --Amazon

This book (and one by Mary Taylor Simetti) is my default reading, when more sophisticated pleasures can't entice me. Beautifully written, this book is almost an elegy to English country living. It provides me - a Californian - with the vicarious feeling that I too am living in Moon Cottage in Barley. Hill provides recipes, observations, descriptions of people, surroundings, and customs of her village, perhaps as bulwark against the encroaching tide of modern life. She finds much to value in living in the "country" and there is much to value in this beautiful book. --Amazon

Susan Hill's study of the British countryside and the seasons of the year is wonderful. Reading it for the first time in the middle of a long winter a few years ago made me feel lucky to live here - despite the dark nights and the cold. Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year but the authors description of her life in the countryside made me look afresh at all seasons and gave me the urge to get out and about to enjoy. Susan Hill's descriptions of the countryside and country people are strongly reminiscent of Hardy and this book was an introduction to a wonderful author. If you like this you must try her other work - which is generally deeper and darker but just as beautiful. Comment | --Amazon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susan Hill wrote THE MAGIC APPLE TREE when she lived in an Oxfordshire village with her family in 1982 and it became a much-loved best seller. This special edition marks its 30TH YEAR --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 July 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a marvellous book. After reading many books which celebrate an 'escape' from England to sunny climes, here is the perfect antidote. Susan Hill describes life in a country village in England in the most marvellousr, warm prose - she occasionally veers a little towards sentimentality, but whatever sweetness the book contains is nicely countered by a true eye for detail. This is a comforting, reassuring read which nevertheless has the overall effect of challenging the reader to think about his own life, what he is doing with it, and whether that is how he wants it to be. Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ms. E. Shaw on 13 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book twenty five years ago, I got it from the local library and was inspired from the first page I was going through a very unhappy part of my life my husbsnd was suffering from agaraphobia and drinking heavily which was affecting the wole family. When I say it changed my life it did just that. I was so affected by Susan Hill`s description of "Moon Cottage" and a wonderful fulfilling life she lead, subconciously I must have decided that was what I wanted. Within twlve months I had found a house in the country with all the wild life Susan had written about Two acres of undeveloped land a barn with room for ponies for my girls and even an old apple tree at the back of the house with branches tapping on the window. My very own "Moon Cottage" with a peppercorn rent to go with it. Thankyou Susan for planting the seeds of "the good life" in your tuly inspirational book of the country. A | "must" read for all lovers of the countryside.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By mrs L A Johnson on 16 Sept. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Susan Hill's The Magic Apple Tree marks a period of change for the author. It follows a time of intense creativity when she wrote half a dozen critically acclaimed novels - Strange Meeting, a novel set during World War I, being in my view particularly haunting and accomplished. After marrying the eminent Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and with the arrival of their daughter Jessica, Susan and her family left town life to take up residence in the fen country, at 'Moon Cottage'. The Magic Apple Tree is a record of one year in the life of the family and the rural scene they became absorbed by.
Susan Hill is fond of the writing of Hardy, and has the same ability to express atmosphere and natural beauty. Also an unflinching acceptance of life's cruelties and terrors. She enjoys keeping hens but can't help admiring the machismo of the hunting fox. She reveres living creatures but 'sits on the fence' concerning the fox-hunting debate. She agonises over eating delicate spring lamb but frankly admits that she'll relish lamb chops later on. She has a quick eye for the beautiful but honestly appraises the problems of rural life under the punishing yearly ordeal of a seven-month winter.
Susan Hill is a sensitive and spiritual writer but never a sentimental one. She gives the reader her subtle response to the country scene and its inhabitants, and also allows us to inspect her vegetable patch and her larder.She gets tremendous satisfaction out of raising her own veg - she's positively lyrical about celeriac - but is half-hearted about growing flowers unless they 'earn their living'. She's fond of making chutney, pickled plums, damson cheese and eldflower ice-cream, but draws the line at wine-making. For me, these details, gardening tips and old-fashioned country recipes are fascinating.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book (and one by Mary Taylor Simetti) is my default reading, when more sophisticated pleasures can't entice me. Beautifully written, this book is almost an elegy to English country living. It provides me - a Californian - with the vicarious feeling that I too am living in Moon Cottage in Barley. Hill provides recipes, observations, descriptions of people, surroundings, and customs of her village, perhaps as bulwark against the encroaching tide of modern life. She finds much to value in living in the "country" and there is much to value in this beautiful book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Dec. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Susan Hill's study of the British countryside and the seasons of the year is wonderful. Reading it for the first time in the middle of a long winter a few years ago made me feel lucky to live here - despite the dark nights and the cold. Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year but the authors description of her life in the countryside made me look afresh at all seasons and gave me the urge to get out and about to enjoy.
Susan Hill's descriptions of the countryside and country people are strongly reminiscent of Hardy and this book was an introduction to a wonderful author. If you like this you must try her other work - which is generally deeper and darker but just as beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerry Shawcroft on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Oh to live in the Moon Cottage, Barley, which Hill describes, along with all the simple pleasures which she so vividly details as they appeal to the senses. Despite the rawness of country life through the English winter and the smells, some delightful, some not, Susan Hill's departure from fiction to fact in this book is a welcome breath of fresh air; for it frees from the encroachment of rapidly moving and hard-edged urban life just when one may have had enough of the latter.

'Escape to the country' might be an expression upon the lips of more and more of us as we come under the strain of the city, despite the obvious advantages of city or suburbia, but in The Magic Apple Tree I thought that the 'escape' clause was so much more than a platitude, it was an escape from modernity; an immersion in the simple but universal beauty of the four seasons in the countryside.
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