Goodreads blurb: “What happens when you leave city life and move to five acres on a hunch, with a husband who’s an aspiring alpaca-whisperer, and a feral cockerel for company? Can you eat the cockerel for dinner? Or has it got rigour mortise?
In search of a good life and a slower pace, Fiona Stocker upped-sticks and moved to Tasmania, a land of promise, wilderness, and family homes of uncertain build quality. It was the lifestyle change that many dream of and most are too sensible to attempt.
Wife, mother and now reluctant alpaca owner, Fiona jumped in at the deep end. Gradually Tasmania got under her skin as she learned to stack wood, round up the kids with a retired lady sheepdog, and stand on a scorpion without getting stung.
This charming tale captures the tussles and euphoria of living on the land in a place of untrammelled beauty, raising your family where you want to and seeing your husband in a whole new light. Not just a memoir but an everywoman’s story, and a paean to a new, slower age.”
I read this book through The Pigeonhole, a free online book club and read it with other readers on the web. It was split into 10 parts, called staves, that I read through the nifty Pigeonhole app. I was able to leave comments throughout and interact with the other readers and the author, which really did add to my reading experience.
This was such a lovely book, I feel like I’ve spent the last ten days in Tasmania with the author, her family and menagerie. The descriptions of the area and the locals were so perfect that I could see it all happening in my mind’s eye as I was reading along.
There are some great stories about her husband Oliver, especially as he got an idea in his head about a new venture he wants to undertake. I loved the way she described his unconstrained excitement. Daisy and Kit their small children were a delight to read about too as was Midget their collie dog. From alpacas to guinea fowl to silky chooks and then pigs, life certainly wasn’t boring for the family especially when other unwanted animals decided to pay a visit.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and can’t wait for the sequel to be published next year. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy nonfiction and being transported to another part of the world without leaving your armchair. It would make a wonderful Christmas present!