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English ecologists Lisa, and her partner, S, take time off from newt catching to go on a walking holiday. Their decision to follow a Camino route in Spain turns out to be a doomed adventure, but it is one that leads to a positive life-changing event.
The couple quickly fall in love with Galicia, a region in northwest Spain, and eventually buy a house. This isn’t an ordinary property. The building had been abandoned and the grounds badly neglected. Both need significant restoration work.
I was quickly immersed in the author’s account of their toils and joys as they strive to achieve self-sufficiency. Problems with bureaucracy, life in a leaky ruin, the endless slog to rebuild their home and initiatives to create a new income are all beautifully described with non-complaining frankness.
The author tells her story through a clever blend of narrative, diary notes and letters ‘to Mum’. This, together with her freestyle form of writing, works beautifully, as do the recipes she shares along the way.
Lisa Rose Wright’s can-do attitude is hugely inspiring, and her sunny personality shines throughout this book. I found it an intoxicating, fun memoir and will be reading her next instalment soon.
What a delightful memoir this is. Loved the way the year is described through letters to her mum back in the UK. Finding the property they want then all the renovations needed with the added interest of the garden , growing vegetables and fruit and using all the produce. I always love reading about other peoples journeys of buying abroad and the trials and tribulations to accomplish this after doing this ourselves in 2003. I loved too the read about Galicia, an area of Spain we hope to explore one of these days. A wonderful read and hope to read more from Lisa. Well done.
Although not an encouraging start, the tale does improve! I love the descriptions of endless produce and all the different recipes they try out to use it. What a wonderful lifestyle! Also, I loved the description of the matzana process. How different food production is in Galicia! I am not keen on the partner just referred to as S, as it makes him rather faceless. Glad there is a lot about people and food, as well as renovations. Next book in the series is on my list to buy!
A wonderful account of the beginning of Lisa and S's life in Galicia. I thoroughly enjoyed the format, switching between Lisa's narrative, letters to her mum, and her diary entries. The information about buying a house, dealing with local bureaucracy, becoming a part of the local community, the hard work involved in renovating the house and caring for their land, was very interesting and beneficial to one who has thoughts of moving there at some point in the future. The addition of the recipes and the picture book made this memoir extra special, really giving a feel for Lisa and S's life. Really looking forward to reading book two!
Please don’t think that this book is just recipes, although it has some really good ones. They are such a brave couple. Buying a derelict house to renovate and live in at the same time as well as not speaking the language. They are so patient too - maybe it’s all those lovely Fiestas that keep them sane throughout it all. Well worth a read.
This book was a joy to read. Lisa the author includes letters to her mum back in blighty and diary entries. There is a scattering of informative notes which helps you to get a better understanding of the narrative. Lisa and S work extremely hard throughout and the recipes and photo book make it something else. Best order the next book and see if those windows ever get delivered!!! Thank you Lisa and good luck x
OK, I’ll admit it. Back in the day, when I was a spotty teenager, I had a schoolboy crush of Felicity Kendal, star of the hit TV series The Good Life. Lisa’s debut travelogue, about moving to Galicia, is a must read for anyone hankering after the good life, or as Lisa names it, La Vida Dulce. Her story cleverly combines narrative, letters home, and diary entries in an informative and interesting way.
Really enjoyed this book. It was a lovely snap shot of a new life, hard physical labour, and a gradual feeling of settling in to a new home. Now going to read Camino, and have pre-ordered Tomato, Fig and Pumpkin Jelly.
A wonderfully descriptive and amusing narrative, really brings the various characters to life..you can imagine yourself going through the challenges and experiencing the joy..the book has a great pace and of course a fabulous setting! A truly lovely read, and I am waiting impatiently for book two!