9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Historic Olive Odyssey, 2 May 2008
A book to be savoured for its evocative language (which is rather less overtly dramatic than its predecessors in the Olive series), it is a read to be cherished, rather than wolfed down. The result is not a foodie's history of olive oil. It reminds us of the important part olives have played in providing light and sustenance for Western civilisation and, historically, as a symbol of peace. I found this history of the olive fascinating; the fleeting nature of the individual compared to ancient trees and agriculture, which are, paradoxically, threatened by the deadly power of mutual human hatred and destruction. The account is thought-provoking, veering between the idyllic and the scary to downright terrifying. It recounts the personal difficulties of a woman travelling alone (not always easy even in Europe or the USA, let alone in strict Muslim countries) and yet paints a sympathetic picture of so many who are involuntary victims of current Middle-East conflicts and divisions. It portrays vividly a journey that I doubt I would have the courage to undertake.