I was drawn to this book as I have an interest in rural living. It did not disappoint. The book is one of a series which tells the story of the life of Amanda Owen and her family who live (you guessed it) in Yorkshire. Amanda had a passion for farming from a young age, and although she did not come from a farming family, she pursued her passion and built the rural life she became inspired to lead, after reading rural books.
The book opens up about house renovations, business, bringing up children and general farming life. Whilst this book is not claiming to give strong insight into business knowledge, it does demonstrate quite nicely, the family roles within the farming sector. At very young ages, the children are involved with all aspects of the farm.
I felt the book was also honest and open in the thoughts a parent might have, of bringing your children up to understand the family farm – giving them room to grow individually but allowing them to understand the way of life whilst acknowledging that the upbringing is different from that of others.
In terms of life lessons, the book provides insight into farming/shepherding life. It highlights the nature of the industry in that it is very much a family interest. It also highlights that you cannot just take the week off. For those with little or no knowledge of farming it really alerts you to the commitment that agricultural sector business owners have to their businesses and their animals. Animals need care everyday of the year, there is rarely ‘time off’. For those with knowledge of the sector, the book holds your interest with relatable narrative.
The book is aimed at sharing a life story of a way of life. It is not overly complex or full of industry specific jargon; it is quite clearly written for an open audience with the aim of telling a life story. By that nature there are moments where I as a reader grew envious of the lifestyle, but the stark reality of long and cold winters on the Yorkshire landscape makes me quite happy to be able to sit in the dry, so to speak. The detail in the narrative shows the personalities of the family members (including the animals), and it is refreshing to read a book about rural living/farming which is not rose tinted in that there are some very real aspects of farming life and animal husbandry shared.
If you are interested in rural living, reading about an alternative life from the rat race, or just a nice story, you may find this book an interesting read. I found this an easy book to pick up and read at the end of a mentally exhausting day, perfect for switching off and relaxing. There is a TV series too if you prefer.
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