Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Let’s start with the blurb: To make her dream come true Lorraine Turnbull dragged her new husband and reluctant children away from Glasgow to live the ‘Good Life’ on a smallholding in Cornwall. Sheep wrestling, making cider, dealing with maggots and a demented mother and all under the pressure of the dreaded Agricultural Occupancy Condition. Lorraine shares the story of the delights and disasters of living off the land in Cornwall and how she finally triumphed over adversity.
I devoured this book in one sitting and loved it, even the bits that were uncomfortable or upsetting. Growing up in the Isle of Man, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time on friends’ farms so reading this brought back many memories. And it’s the memories which Lorraine Turnbull shares so openly that make this book truly special.
Her strength of character shines through and I admire her perseverence to follow her dreams despite it being difficult at times. As animals were part of the small holding, there are naturally parts of the book dealing with the realities of agricultural life which some may find upsetting. I felt such scenes were portrayed with respect and candour.
The author is open about the difficult relationship she had with her mother from an early age. I admired her all the more for caring for her mum during her descent into the grip of Alzheimer’s Disease. There were more than a few points where I had to pause as I couldn’t read the words for the tears in my eyes.
I have to give a special mention to the author’s husband, John, who seems like he was a rock throughout the stresses and strains over the years. And of course, being a cat mum, I adored Jonas and his antics which had me laughing out loud.
I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the small holding life or who just wants to feel like they’ve made a new friend as they read.