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The Olive Farm: A memoir of life, love and olive oil Paperback – 7 Jun 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Jun 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; Reprint edition (7 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349114749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349114743
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,236,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The new leader of the pack (THE TIMES)

Beautifully written with a great sense of humour, it captures perfectly the dreamy atmosphere of the south of France and its people (WOMAN AND HOME)

Charming and well written (DAILY MAIL)

A spellbinding memoir (CHOICE)

Book Description

* Restoring a French olive farm - an actress's lyrical account that will appeal to all admirers of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN.

* Subtitle: A memoir of life, love and olive oil in the South of France

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on the ferry returning from a holiday in France along with the next book in the trilogy,

I am now about 2/3rds through the first book and have loved every bit of it so far Carol is every bit as good a writer as she is an actress she writes with such passion and such a humerous but factual way that you are transported there yourself you are living the dream with them and sharing the ups and downs of such a huge project.

It is one of the best books i have ever read its funny, its sad, its informative, it makes you want to have a better life for yourself and its a great way to unwind the stresses of modern life and drift you off to another world as you sleep.
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Format: Hardcover
While the allure of a foreign land is a subject often plumbed by such attractive sojourners as Peter Mayle (A Year In Provence) and Frances Mayes (Under The Tuscan Sun), British writer/actress Carol Drinkwater offers refreshingly original musings on her love affair with southern France. She is particularly drawn to a tumble-down villa built in 1904; it is called Appassionata " a musical term meaning with passion." "I am in the south of France, gazing at the not-so-distant Mediterranean, falling in love with an abandoned olive farm," Ms. Drinkwater writes. "The property, once stylish and now little better than a ruin, is for sale with ten acres of land." Love, as has been said, is blind. In this case, an unabashed Francophile didn't see the lack of running water, save on a rainy day through holes in the roof, or moldering walls or the legions of insects who inhabit the long abandoned villa. She didn't envision the ponderously slow French property laws, the perplexities of nurturing olive trees, the idiosyncracies of the local residents, the vagaries of nature, or the amount of money needed to make her dream home habitable. Warmed by the Mediterranean sun she simply thought, "To restore this old olive farm, with views overlooking the sea. To create roots, and with this man......it may be illogical, but it feels right." She invests all of her resources, including her only insurance policy, in what her friends and parents deem to be a scheme of madness, and stakes her future with Michel, a man who proposed the day after they met.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I have now read all of Carol Drinkwater's books on her life on the Olive Farm and her journeys to find the history of the Olive Tree. They are all wonderful books that make me want to read them over and over again. Carol writes in a beautifully fluid manner that draws you in to make you feel that you are there with her. I would highly recommend all the books in this series and look forward to reading the next in the series if there is one.
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book and I loved it. Carol drinkwater tells the story of how a whirlwind romance leads her to invest everything in a derelict olive farm in the South of France. If you want to escape from the ordinary, this wonderful true story will take you to the warmth, the colour and magic of Provence. The Author also makes it interesting by including lots of information on the region, history and anecdotes about famous people who lived there such as Picasso, and the history of the olive tree itself. This story comes from the heart and the reader lives through the ups and many downs that the author and her partner suffer. By the end, I wanted to pack and move into Appassionata, the name of the villa, complete with pool that they restore. The book is a celebration of the senses, of love, kindness and the human spirit. A triumph.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this book. I really did.
Written by a moderately well-known actress and billed as telling the tale of her love affair with Michel, a middle-aged French divorce, and Apassionata, an abandoned olive farm near Cannes, it seemed ideal reading for a holiday in that area.
Sadly, however, Drinkwater's writing style makes the book very nearly unreadable. The writing is flabby and gooey - lush vocabulary is twinned with a paucity of characterisation and explanation. She frequently tells the reader that she loves Michel, yet gives no sense of his character so we can enter into her feelings; she says she has passionate pro-organic and anti-hunting beliefs but omits to provide any reasons; she calls the vet but forgets to tell us of his visit; she tells us, vaguely, that she thinks of a literary parallel, e.g. "was it the Scarlet Pimpernel?" but hasn't researched whether it actually was - very frustrating to the reader, whether they know the origin of the parallel or not.
What a pity that her editor didn't sit her down and ask her to rewrite the book, paying attention to her style and to answering all those questions thrown up by the gaps in her first draft.
Because it is a wonderful story. She and Michel buy and restore an olive farm. They clear the massively overgrown land, involve themselves with the local experts in olives, endure storms and disasters and finally end up with a pressing of their own olives from one of the local mills. What a fantastic outcome! But I shan't be re-reading this book.
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