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The Olive Tree: A Personal Journey Through Mediterranean Olive Groves [Paperback]

Carol Drinkwater
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.67
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Book Description

11 Jun 2009

THE OLIVE TREE charts Carol Drinkwater's colourful and often dangerous journey in search of the routes that olive cultivation has taken over the centuries. Set during a springtime Mediterranean that is evocative and perennial, it is above all a tale of our time.

Troubled by challenges her own South of France farm is experiencing, Carol realises new approaches to farming are becoming essential.

Her quest takes her south through Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Italy before she finally returns to her farm.

Through her travels and vivid encounters, Carol confronts some of the critical issues of our time - land-care and the harsh realities of diminishing water reserves - and ends her momentous journey in the company of olive growers whose vision for the future is remarkable and ingenious.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Olive Tree: A Personal Journey Through Mediterranean Olive Groves + The Olive Route: A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean + Return to the Olive Farm
Price For All Three: £22.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (11 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826126
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anglo-Irish actress Carol Drinkwater is perhaps still most familiar to audiences for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. A popular and acclaimed author and film-maker as well, Carol has published nineteen books for both the adult and young adult markets. She is currently at work on her twentieth title.
When she purchased a rundown property overlooking the Bay of Cannes in France, she discovered on the grounds sixty-eight, 400-year-old olive trees. Once the land was reclaimed and the olives pressed, Carol along with her French husband, Michel, became the producers of top-quality olive oil. Her series of memoirs, love stories, recounting her experiences on her farm (The Olive Farm, The Olive Season, The Olive Harvest and Return to the Olive Farm) have become international bestsellers. Carol's fascination with the olive tree extended to a seventeenth-month, solo Mediterranean journey in search of the tree's mythical secrets. The resulting travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, have inspired a five-part documentary films series entitled The Olive Route.

Carol has also been invited to work with UNESCO to help fund an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean with the dual goals of creating peace in the region and honouring the ancient heritage of the olive tree.

Product Description


Her writing captures the true spirit of the people and places she visits (Carolyn Boyd TIMES)

An honest tale that brings to life the sights, smells and tastes of the Mediterranean. (LIVING SPAIN)

`the story contains some wonderfully evocative vignettes, written in prose that ignites the reader¿s imagination' (Jane Duru GLOBALISTA)

Drinkwater's passion and curiosity are contagious...lively prose holds unexpectedly poetic bursts and an insightful account of how the Mediterranean treats a woman travelling alone (Kathleen Wyatt TIMES)

Carol Drinkwater has gone in search of olive growers in the west Mediterranean, documenting her travels and travails with good humour and not a little fortitude. (Choice)

'The Olive Tree is a thrilling tale tracing the journey of olive cultivation' (Paul Blezard THE LADY)

a tale of one lady's courageous, unusual and intrepid journey around the Mediterranean in the pursuit of something so many of us give little thought to in this country (REAL TRAVEL)

The Olive Tree is travel writing of the highest order (Jenny Crwys-Williams The Book Show, Radio 702 (South Africa))

Gripping and passionate (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Her writing is often lyrical and unexpectedly poetic, making this book a surefire hit on many levels. (THE WEEKENDER (South Africa))


“She writes so well you can almost smell the sun-baked countryside.”---Bella

“A gripping adventure.”-- The Belfast Telegraph

“Carol's latest book, The Olive Tree, is a fascinating personal travelogue that addresses some crucial issues of our time.”-- The Middle East Magazine

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nicely tied sequel 17 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is Carol Drinkwater's much anticipated sequel to "The Olive Route". It was worth the wait. In this tranche she travels to the western Mediterranean to see for herself the vast array of olive husbandry, from the intensive farming in Spain to attempts to halt the northward march of the Sahara in Algeria. As always, it is the story of the olive told through the people involved in its farming that draws the reader into this odyssey. She does not shy away from describing the disasters as well as the triumphs in her journey. Just the read for winter evenings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Olive Tree 19 Dec 2010
I missed this book when it was first published and only discovered it when it's sequel Return to the Olive Farm appeared. I am a great fan of Carol Drinkwater and have read and enjoyed all her other books in this series. She writes well and her books are interesting and easy to read. This volume is no exception. I admire her courage in travelling alone in dangerous places and coping with tricky situations.
She presents a fascinating account of travelling off the beaten track in Spain, North Africa and Italy. Perhaps the 'olive' theme is nearing exhaustion!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Olive tree 2 Aug 2009
The Olive Tree: A Personal Journey Through Mediterranean Olive Groves I enjoyed this book very much. I thought it was better & less long winded than her book called, The Olive Route. Best of all though was the trilogy of the Olive farm. I look forward to the new book that comes out next year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flit lit with class 14 April 2011
So many people move to a French rural retreat, sit back and start hammering away at the laptop with an eye on the bestseller list. Just as Ms Drinkwater is no ghosted actress lending a name to a potboiler, she is also no flit lit hack. Her books are the best in the genre. Well researched and a charming read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't bear to finish it! 25 Nov 2013
By Morag
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having devoured the initial trilogy of Olive Farm books I have loved every minute of travelling with Carol through Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Sicily and mainland Italy. I am fascinated by the historical and political issues that she gently exposes to us to on the journey. I am in awe of the way she travels at 'ground level' staying in basic local accommodation, introducing us to scenes and experiences that would certainly be beyond my sphere of travel. I just can't bear to finish this book though! ........Well not until I have first stashed away my next wonderful read from Carol!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read! 18 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ms Drinkwater holds the reader spell-bound as she recounts one half of her awesome quest to discover the origins of the not-so-humble Olive tree! Carol writes with much passion, compassion & enormous skill! She is also now a friend via social networking & I am so lucky to be able to follow more of her amazing life through this avenue.
I discovered her Olive series at around the same time as I discovered & also fell in love with Provence in Southern France. Sadly, holidays are once a year, but with Carol's Olive series, I can pick up one of her books & be back 'home', even on a windy, cold, wet afternoon in UK....The Olive Tree was equally as evocative as all the others! Thank you Carol!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just love the olives 8 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an interesting, emotionally challenging and rewarding journey. A facinatory of life with olives and Carol. Read previous books and just wanted more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 24 Feb 2014
By Bregis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was received by me well within the advised timescale. It was extremely well packaged. I can recommend the book to anyone else.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going!
Didn't finish the book because l found it a trifle boring in places. Didn't 'grab' me like Carol's other books :-(
Published 17 months ago by Marg T
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming well written book.
This was a very enjoyable read,well written by Carol Drinkwater as usual,you almost felt part of the family. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Julie Hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars The Olive Series
Oh Carol, to quote Neil Sedaka.
What a wonderfull continuation to The Olive Series of books, can't wait to read the next book. Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. J. MCGILL
5.0 out of 5 stars The Olive Tree
I really like Carol Drinkwater's descriptive turn of phrase, and all the historical information which she gives. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Sheila Lochhead /KarenSheila Lochhead
5.0 out of 5 stars I have become an Olive Tree fan with Carol Drinkwater
I enjoy the laid back pace of these books. I have Olive Tree paintings and Olive Tree photographs from my travels. Read more
Published 23 months ago by J. DEVINE
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Another good book from the very good author Carol Drinkwater.I started with the Olive Farm and quickly had to buy all the others in the series.She brings it all to life. Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Angel bowler
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I loved the books about the Olive farm in the south of France but disliked this one. It is educational and full of factual detail but not an entertaining read!
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by A. Sharp
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