Synopses & Reviews
Carol Drinkwater's The Olive Farm
told the lyrical tale of her real-life romance with partner Michel and an abandoned Provenal olive farm that they fell in love with and bought-a double love story, recounting with wit, warmth, and alluring detail the couple's attempts to bring their dreams to life.
In The Olive Season, Carol Drinkwater's much-anticipated follow-up to The Olive Farm, Carol and Michel prepare to exchange vows in, of all places, Polynesia-Michel's answer to Carol's challenging response to his marriage proposal ("Only if the ceremony is performed by the King of Tonga!") Upon their return to the south of France as husband and wife, they find there is much hope-and work-to greet them.
With a farm consisting of fifty trees producing some of the world's finest olive oil, no longer is the challenge one of restoring the farm but in charting its development and growth. France's rigorous agricultural standards are responsible for some of the world's best produce but also for one of its most infuriating bureaucracies. In order to obtain the coveted AOC rating, Carol and Michel are forced to both expand their farm and to negotiate a Byzantine world of forms, officials, and inspections, including the surveying of their land by a water diviner, who, via a power akin to extrasensory perception, can point out the existence of underground water sources on their property.
Further complicating matters is the fact that Carol has become pregnant with the couple's first child and has just accepted a demanding acting role. As the harvest season approaches, dramatic events, culminating in a heartbreaking miscarriage, cast shadows over the olive farm. With all the warmth and vibrancy of the Mediterranean sun, Carol Drinkwater tells her passionate, moving, and utterly uplifting story.
"Striking a lovely balance of memoir, travelogue and olive-growing how-to, Drinkwater delivers a richly textured account of her enviable life in southern France....Drinkwater succeeds in illustrating not only the graceful countryside, but the buoying power of an adopted community and a devoted spouse." Publishers Weekly
"A fussy, lugubrious sequel...with the actress author's moods swinging madly from rapture to complaint to melancholy....While she grapples with her feelings, she also tackles the story of a diviner who comes to find water for their orchard expansion, perhaps the most focused episode here, and certainly the best. Flashing fruity, then penumbral, with little surety of itself." Kirkus Reviews
With the magnificent humanity and texture of an impressionist painting, "The Olive Season" entices readers into Drinkwater's vibrant Mediterranean world as the author and Michel prepare to exchange vows in, of all places, Polynesia.
About the Author
Carol Drinkwater is a critically acclaimed actress. Among her many stage and screen performances, she is probably most widely known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC adaptation of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small.