Best Read [ChrisStewart] ☆ Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía || [Historical Fiction Book] PDF ✓

By ChrisStewart | Comments: ( 997 ) | Date: ( Mar 30, 2020 )

No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife, that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain That was the easy part.Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials running water, electricity, an access road.No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife, that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain That was the easy part.Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials running water, electricity, an access road And then there s the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entr e into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way among them farmers, including the ever resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.

  • Title: Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía
  • Author: ChrisStewart
  • ISBN: 9780953522705
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Paperback

About Author:


Christopher Chris Stewart born 1951 , was the original drummer and a founding member of Genesis He is now a farmer and an author A classmate of Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel at Charterhouse School, Stewart joined them in a school band called The Garden Wall, and they later formed another band with schoolmates Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, called Anon This band eventually became Genesis in January 1967 Stewart appears on the band s first two singles, The Silent Sun That s Me and A Winter s Tale One Eyed Hound Although several demos from Stewart s time with Genesis appear on the Genesis Archive 1967 75 box set, he is not credited with playing on any of them Peter Gabriel seems to have played drums on a couple, and the rest do not feature drums At the recommendation of Jonathan King, Stewart was asked to leave the band in the summer of 1968 due to poor technique He was replaced by John Silver After travelling and working throughout Europe, Stewart settled and bought a farm named El Valero in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia, Spain where he lives and works with his wife Ana Exton and daughter Chlo He came in last place for the position of local councillor in the 27 May 2007 local elections in rgiva representing the Green Party, where he received 201 votes roughly 8%.He is now better known for his autobiographical books, Driving Over Lemons An Optimist in Andalucia 1999, ISBN 0 9535227 0 9 and the sequels, A Parrot In The Pepper Tree ISBN 0 9535227 5 X and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society 2006, ISBN 0 9548995 0 4 , about his work farming in Spain All three are also available as audiobooks Lemons ISBN 0 14 180143 3 Parrot ISBN 0 14 180402 5 , and Almond ISBN 0 7528 8597 9, narrated by Stewart.Stewart s publisher, Sort of Books, announced plans to release yet another Stewart memoir in 2009, this one focused on sailing, entitled Three Ways to Capsize a Boat An Optimist Afloat.Stewart has also contributed to two books in the Rough Guides series the Rough Guide to Andalucia and the Rough Guide to China.

Comments Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía

  • Andrea

    This really is my favourite kind of light reading; what I like to think of as the expat sub-genre of travel writing. You know the drill. Someone decides to opt out of their normal life (bonus points if it's a bit humdrum), goes to foreign country (more bonus points if non- English speaking) and encounters a whole range of amusing misunderstandings and challenges as they establish a new life (even MORE bonus points if they buy a dilapidated house to renovate). Generally they accumulate a small ha [...]

  • Roy Lotz

    I have admit I came to this book with low expectations. The story of an Englishman’s escape into rural Spain seemed to promise only the same endlessly repeated tropes: the hapless foreigner making their way in a strange land, the contrast of dreary modern life with the pure traditions of the unlettered, the isolation of cities compared with the communality of the country—you’ve heard it all before. But I was pleasantly surprised by the book; indeed, by the end I was thoroughly charmed. Ste [...]

  • Zanna

    My ability to relate to the author got off to a poor start, wore thinner under his gendering of food, and finally broke down over his willingness to associate with and admiration for a taciturn domestic abuser. I might have got further if the writing seemed really fantastic, but it seemed just like other civilised-man-on-the-wild-passionate-continent books with the usual wife-ignoring, romanticising tropes.

  • Kammy

    Makes you want to quit your crappy job, sell your pricey house and move to a pile of rocks in Spain. Reminds you of the importance and joy to be found in relationships with neighbors, and the lack of importance in sticking to a tight schedule. I gave this to my Mom soon after I read it, and she loved it as well. The writing style is natural, conversational. Great book.

  • Ashley Lauren

    Man. I should have loved this book. When I pulled the off the shelf at Half Price Books I knew I had to have it. It was perfect for me. Not only was it a travel memoir, one of my great weaknesses, but it was a travel memoir about Spain. Add onto that a quirky story and I'm sold.So what happened? Why am I not head over heels for this story? The writing was quite good, the descriptions were also nicely done. There is nothing glaringly obvious throughout the entire length.The problem is that I just [...]

  • Jaanaki

    I love to travel and see new places and therefore I love reading travelogues and descriptions of new places ,cultures ,customs and people around the world. Stewart decides to buy an old sheep farm in a remote location in the Alpajurra Mountains in Southern Spain. He convinced his wife Ana to join him and the novel is a delightful description of how they start from scratch even without water and electricity to build a farm and a family 😁 simultaneously with a multitude of obstacles in the form [...]

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)

    It's unavoidable making the comparison between this book and Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Both are memoirs by ex-Pat Brits of their relocation to bucolic parts of Southern Europe, both to be found in my neighborhood book store almost side-by-side under Travel Essays. A blurb from the Daily Telegraph even says Stewart is being talked up as "the new Peter Mayle." Fortunately Stewart compared well--in fact I liked his book quite a bit more than Mayle's.A lot of that is that I just plain liked [...]

  • Robert Bovington

    My wife bought this book about ten years ago having heard a review on Radio 2. She enjoyed reading it and so did I. More than that, it inspired us to move to Spain. I must admit, though, that we didn´t entirely follow in Chris Stewart's footsteps - working a farm in the Alpujarras sounded like much too much hard work so we relocated to the coast instead. However, intrigued by Chris Stewart's book we began to explore the Alpujarras and during the last eight years have spent many enjoyable days i [...]

  • Marnette Falley

    I spent an evening at a farm in Spain and as I picked the grapes overhanding the patio I dreamed about buying it and pickling all those orchards of olives. No electricity. So I kind of identify with author Chris Stewart, who bought just such a farm, except way more remote and without running water or a road. I completely enjoyed the story of the couples first years in Spain, during which they learned how to keep their farm alive, built friendships and construction know-how, and had a baby. My on [...]

  • Dalia

    I picked this up in the travel guide section at the library when I started planning my trip to Portugal. I was suprised to see a book like this in that section but I guess its not hefty enough for a memoir so there really isn't a proper home for it. I know understand why Cooking with Fernet Branca was made- these gringo moves to peasant territory books are so formulaic- this even has the requisite recipe for "poorman's potatoes" No real reason to read this, zero drama, zero suprises.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Chris Stewart, formerly of Genesis, relocates his family to Andalucia. They embrace a very peasant lifestyle, and seem to love it. I loved reading about the farm - the seasons, the beauty, the locals, and the little customs of the locals like planting on saints days. I would have liked a lot more about Andalucia in general, beyond the farm. If you've ever wished for a simpler, pastoral life, you would probably enjoy this a bit more than I did.

  • Francisco

    Para pasarlo bien como lector, a veces no es necesaria una gran novela Este es un ejemplo. Narración sencilla, con carácter autobiográfico, divertida en unos momentos y tierna en otros. Se cierra el libro con una sonrisa en los labios, imaginando el aroma de la sierra.

  • Craig

    For me, Chris Stewart’s Driving Over Lemons sets the standard by which all travel memoirs are judged. His passion for his adopted country and its people oozes from every page. Over a decade on from it first publication, it’s as crisp and fresh today as it’s ever been.

  • Claire Marshall

    Great book really easy to read and very engaging and amiable narrator. One criticism possibly that Ana doesn't really come alive in the same way as other characters. Maybe she didn't want to be a big part of the story? But Domingo seems more rounded somehow.

  • Melanie

    This was a delightful account of an English couple who buys a primitive farm in rural Andalucia Spain. As Chris describes it, the setting is beautiful, but he also doesn't gloss over the difficulties of moving into a home with no electricity and no running water. The anecdotes sometimes jump back and forth in time, but that didn't bother me.

  • Chad Fairey

    Was very happy to come across this delightful little book by Chris Stewart -- one-time drummer for Genesis (in the band's very, very early days) who threw it all in to become a sheep-shearer and, eventually, the owner of a remote farm in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia. While this technically belongs in the same genre as similar works by Peter Mayle, Frances Mayes and Tony Cohan, it strikes a very different pitch as it is remarkably humble, grounded and measured in its perception of local lif [...]

  • Caroline

    This was disappointing. I've had it on the radar for years but I really thought it would be a better read. It's quite a lightweight trot through one mans experience of moving to Andalucia. I just couldn't feel anything for the characters or indeed the entire experience. He has some lovely observations, particularly about his daughter and it is quite funny in an understated (my favourite type of humour) way, but I don't believe he manages to convey anything of depth.

  • Remo

    Una pareja de ingleses deciden venderlo todo y venirse a vivir a la Alpujarra. Se compran el cortijo de El Valero y se dedican a arreglarlo. A pesar de parecer un tema tan anodino, el autor escribe tan bien que es una gloria leerlo. Cuenta mil historias de pastores y constructores, de ganaderos y de agricultores. Chris Stewart tiene talento y los libros se leen solos. En total tiene cinco escritos, a cual más divertido. Muy recomendable. Por aquí he comentado un par de ellos.

  • Egita

    Tas vienkārši bija tik vienkārši baudāms. 🤠

  • Leftbanker

    This book came highly recommended from a couple of friends and I have been meaning to read it for quite a while now, probably ever since I moved to Spain four and a half years ago. I found a copy in Spanish at a used book sale (1Euro!) so the matter was settled. I have to say that it was slow reading and not because I had any problem with the Spanish, it is just slow reading. He doesn't have to much to say about Spanish life as he is in the middle of nowhere and interacting with few people. The [...]

  • Julie

    The title is intriguing for a start and immediately conjures up pictures of hot summer days and sleepy Spanish villages set against a backdrop of lemon groves. No doubt the author had the same romantic picture of a life in the sun when he and his wife moved to Spain. However, his account of farming during a harsh winter, of no running water or electricity paint an entirely different picture. I think it's the struggle of daily life and the interaction with the locals that make this book so endear [...]

  • Karen

    Enjoyable if a bit standard in the "English/American family moves to Country, buys a farm house, experiences construction woes and gets to know the neighbors" genre. In this one, they actually farm and have livestock so there are some fairly gorey bits and a lot less rhapsodizing about the local cuisine (which you get in Provence/Tuscany books of this type). In all, I found it not super insightful or funny, but an interesting look at one family's experiences moving to southern Spain. There are t [...]

  • Isa Lot

    Es un libro muy peculiar, desde luego si no te gusta la naturaleza y el campo no lo leas. Se compone de un montón de anecdotas de una familia inglesa en la alpujarra granadina. Todo lo que tiene que pasar y aprender primero el solo como nuevo granjero y luego con su mujer y su hija. Al principio me gustó mucho, después me aburrio bastante y posteriormente me volvió a enganchar cuando comenzo a hablar de experiencias con medicina natural, hierbas y botánica.

  • Elisabeth

    I did not expect much from a book by the former drummer of Genesis. Now I am embarrassed by me prejudice. He is funny, clever and talented and who knew he could shear sheep. His descriptions of the hills and country around Granada are beautiful and capture it perfectly.

  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    I read this before I hiked in Andalusia. (Are you seeing a theme here?) So glad I did. Ever dreamed of living in the middle of olive and lemon groves? What if the house had no electricity or running water? (I love books like this!)

  • Christine Zibas

    Review to come.

  • Kenny

    I ended up reading this on a whim on holiday, and having read it soon after it first came out (around the millennium) wondered if I'd enjoy it as much as I did then when it was one of (maybe the first of this type I'd read). The short answer is yes, albeit without that 'first' experience. It struck me that there were a couple of pieces that I can remember vividly - and how relatively short they are (one piece on him making olive oil was only about 3 pages long). So that's a success.So what's goo [...]

  • Harry Buckle

    I recently revisited Christ Stewarts series of books thanks to some 'special offers' on kindle. Very few pages in and I was re-immersed in the descriptive delights of his 'dream lifestyle' in his Spanish farmstead. Or in the case of the first book, considerable detail of the hard work realities of achieving such. It was also a delight to read of his feelings and emotions when his baby daughter arrived. Her mother -Ana - having 'become light' as the Spanish apparently say. I have written elsewher [...]

  • Diane

    British satire always makes me laugh. Looking forward to grabbing the next book in the series which will talk more about his time in Sevilla, instead of just the farm south of Granada.

  • Dawn Mellor

    This is not my usual sort of book; I rarely read non-fiction, nevermind memoirs. But I'm happy to have read it. It's a light and amusing look at moving abroad to a run down farm, without any of the 'snobbishness' you can sometimes get when the English move abroad.Very entertaining and fun.

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  • Best Read [ChrisStewart] ☆ Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía || [Historical Fiction Book] PDF ✓
    290 ChrisStewart
  • thumbnail Title: Best Read [ChrisStewart] ☆ Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía || [Historical Fiction Book] PDF ✓
    Posted by:ChrisStewart
    Published :2019-010-17T14:08:52+00:00