Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart
An Optimist in Andalucia

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Synopsis

  No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check.  Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain.  That was the easy part.

Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials—running water, electricity, an access road.  And then there's the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave.  A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrée into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish.  Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way—among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists—Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Chris Stewart

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Chris Stewart shot to fame with Driving Over Lemons in 1999. Funny, insightful and real, the book told the story of how he bought a peasant farm on the wrong side of the river, with its previous owner still a resident. It became an international bestseller, along with its sequels - A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society. In an earlier life, Chris was the original drummer in Genesis (he played on the first album), then joined a circus, learned how to shear sheep, went to China to write the Rough Guide, gained a pilot's license in Los Angeles, and completed a course in French cooking.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 270 pages
Genres: Travel, History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Driving Over Lemons

Kirkus Reviews

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Throughout, Stewart wisely approaches his subject with a panoramic lens: in crucial ways, his story is primarily concerned with the hardscrabble life and the tenuously maintained traditions of the region’s native residents—who ultimately form mutually beneficial bonds of friendship and support wi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Stewart, a former drummer in Genesis, middle-aged travel writer and professional sheepshearer, never quite explains why he and his wife, Ana, decided to quit England 11 years ago for a dilapidated far

Feb 28 2000 | Read Full Review of Driving Over Lemons: An Optim...

Publishers Weekly

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Stewart, a former drummer in Genesis, middle-aged travel writer and professional sheepshearer, never quite explains why he and his wife, Ana, decided to quit England 11 years ago for a dilapidated farm without electricity, water or even a road in Andaluc a, Spain.

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BookPage

Although there is very good Spanish wine to be had, somehow the setting of Stewart's reveries, the mix of ancient and primitive and not-quite-modern, seems more evocative of a Chilean wine.

Nov 25 2014 | Read Full Review of Driving Over Lemons: An Optim...

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Nov 25 2014 | Read Full Review of Driving Over Lemons: An Optim...

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