Unlike most all of Chatwin's writings which seem to focus on wanderlust, this novel is the life story of two brothers who never wander far from their birthplace on the Black Hills between England and Wales. While there are no momentous events in their lives, the story is beautifully witten and captivating - it's a very satisfying novel and highly recommended.
A beautifully written, rather brooding story that's set in the wild but beautiful Welsh countryside and follows the lives of two twin brothers who were born at the very beginning of the 20th century. From the start they were inseparable and so closely bonded that they seemed to have been able to sense when one or the other was in danger or pain. They remained bachelors all their lives, sharing everything as they continued to live on the farm that their father had bought years ago. The book's characters are vividly portrayed and so is the the way Chatwin describes the landscape and the people who are such an important part of it -- farmers, tradesmen (including a coffin maker)clergy, gentry as well as a number of others who were notable because of their eccentricities. The book was an evocative look at a way of life that simply doesn't exist any more and it reminded me very much of the novels of Thomas Hardy, George Eliot and Mary Webb.
Reading this book is like taking a trip to a farm on the English-Welsh border. There isn't much happening and the everyday things that are normal happenings to us are a big deal at The Vision Farm. Chatwin's writing is very gentle and gives us a feeling of adoration for the two brothers that have such devotion to each other. Without much of a plot, the book is place driven and character driven. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read about rural nature.