I REALLY liked this memoir. It was very well written, poignant, and the author's struggles with her personal life as well as with an olive orchard in Provence, coupled with great novelistic descriptions of the people she dealt with in France were quite engaging - well, it's a great read. Particularly interesting were her insights regarding the loss of her baby to miscarriage and what that meant for life choices and acceptance.
I loved Carol Drinkwater in the BBC TV series "All Creatures Great And Small". Here's a "what happened to..." follow-up for me, as she describes her life in later years - she and her husband purchasing and restoring an olive farm in Provence.
In this book, Ms. Drinkwater is very open about a difficult time in their lives. A book to laugh, and cry, and smile again with the author.
I love escapist reading about women (& men) who choose to live abroad and undertake a farm, a winery, a restaurant. Call it the Shirley Valentine syndrome - common among women of a certain age.
I thought this would have it all - olive oil, southern France, an expat actress. I was ultimately disappointed in the amount of writing dedicated to olive culture and harvest. One chapter - maybe 10% of the book. In that chapter, at peak of harvest, she decides to return to London for a visit leaving the work in the hands of a devoted caretaker.
I compared this to Patricia Atkinson's "The Ripening Sun" In which the author worked her fingers to the bone and told about the process - climbing vats, riding tractors, tying vines and telling and teaching you about it in the process.
This is more about the life of an ex-pat: house guests, Cannes, excentric characters as well as her emotional journey creating a new family. Those reading for culinary reasons may find this less "extra virgin" and more "pomace oil"