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A Place of Refuge: An Experiment in Communal Living – The Story of Windsor Hill Wood Hardcover – 2 Jul 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: riverrun; First Edition edition (2 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848662483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848662483
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

This is no Hollywood-style tale of redemption and transformation. It is something much more honest: a warts-and-all account of what it is like to try a radically different way of living, and to not only survive, but have real triumphs . . . Thanks to Jones's sense of humour the book rarely feels "worthy", in the pejorative sense, despite the subject matter . . . Admirably erudite, charming and reflective . . . To read this book is to imagine, even if only briefly, that a different way of living might be possible. (Alice O'Keefe Guardian)

Fascinating and remarkable . . . a study of compassion in action (Sunday Times)

This is an enjoyable book (Mail on Sunday)

[I was] Amused and moved by this book . . . The Joneses' desire to rescue lost people is both magnificent and astonishing (The Times)

Chosen as a summer read by Julian Baggini (Observer)

Extremely gripping and moving . . . Often very funny . . . Jones writes beautifully about the changing seasons . . . Each night I looked forward to reading this book. Clearly there is something in our psychological make-up that longs to be part of an 'extended household', breaking bread with strangers. Or - at least - to experience it voyeuristically through the pages of a captivating memoir (Independent)

There is much beauty in the story of Windsor Hill Wood, the rural idyll that Jones and Fra create together. He manages to take us with him into it . . . Jones is a sublime writer, who has the ability to bring tears to the eye (Daily Telegraph)

It's a gentle meditation on a brave venture that leaves the reader uplifted and even a little enlightened (Press Association)

It is Jones's humanity and gift for characterisation that make his book so captivating . . . His account rings with universal truths . . . A Place of Refuge asks difficult questions about how often mental illness is connected with the fact that 'community', as it's currently understood, is delivered through a screen (Financial Times)

A wonderful book describing the bosky - sometimes bolshie - community he and his wife set up for allcomers: recovering alcoholics, addicts and anoxerics. It is written with the keenest eye for nature - human and leafy - and a wisdom learned the hard way (perhaps there is no other way) (Kate Kellaway Observer)

About the Author

Tobias Jones is the author of four non-fiction books, Blood on the AltarThe Dark Heart of Italy, Basilitica and Utopian Dreams; and the Castagnetti crime trilogy, The Salati Case, White Death and Death of a Showgirl. He has worked as a journalist in Britain for the London Review of Books, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer; and in Italy, producing two political documentary series for the Italian state broadcaster RAI 3. He lives at Windsor Hill Wood in Somerset with his wife and three children where he runs a working farm refuge.


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26 August 2015
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25 July 2015
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21 July 2015
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