The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree coverThe Olive Tree
Carol Drinkwater
narrated by the author
Whole Story Audiobooks, 2009
Audiobook $22.95, Kindle edition $2.99
audiobook borrowed from the Santa Clara County Library System

I have pretty much exhausted the lecture series from The Great Courses in which I am interested and I have listened to some of them twice or more. Until the good folks there come up with a new course that excites me I thought I would shift to audiobooks for a while.

This title was a delight. Drinkwater is a British actress who took up olive farming in France with her husband. She was concerned about climate change, environmental degradation, and the random, haphazard use of pesticides. She was also interested in the history of olive tree cultivation by humans and how far back it went. This set her off on a journey.

And what a journey it was. She visited Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Sicily, and Italy. She traveled alone in spite of the risks and made contact with friends of friends or colleagues of colleagues (or even more tenuous connections) in those places who had experience in olive cultivation. She asked a lot of questions, she learned a lot, and through it all managed to make it home safely.

The fact that the author narrated the audiobook made it all the more delightful, though I have to say that I breathed a sigh of relief when she described making her way out of North Africa, a place where a woman traveling along is looked on with suspicion, at best.

If you are interested in travel narratives or the story of olive farming you are likely to enjoy this book.



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