Posted on 18th April 2020
The rain has fallen torrentially overnight. The ground needs it after going from swamp to concrete within a few days in what has been a very dry few weeks after the wettest winter I’ve known! However after rescueing some very wet ponies (last I checked it had said light rain) that had been out all night, coming home and warming up with a cuppa and a bowl of porridge my thought s turned to book reviews! Something I have been meaning to get to grips with for ever!
The temptation to curl up with a good book and while away the hours of this gloomy day (hey not like we’re really going anywhere at this present time on lockdown because of Covid19) has spurred me forth to write my first book review.
Many of you may have already come across Amanda Owen – The Yorkshire Shepherdess, perhaps through ITV’s TV series Our Yorkshire Farm. Or maybe you’ve already read her previous two books, “The Yorkshire Shepherdess” and “A Year In The Life of The Yorkshire Shepherdess.” I’m working my way backwards through the trio however as the first I had heard of the third book, the one I’m reviewing “Adventures of The Yorkshire Shepherdess.” that I can across as a recommended read on HayNet, I popped it on my Christmas wish list and there it was on Christmas Day!
Now, if you have a love for the countryside, maybe you’re a bit of a James Herriot fan, if the sight of a stone wall or cottage makes your heart go all a flutter. Then this could be the book for you! As I said, I’ve started at the third, but the book works fabulously well as a standalone and I now also have the joy of reading the first and second too. I have giggled and at times laughed out loud while reading through these pages. Our love of the aforementioned gifts of Yorkshire plus an enthusiasm, which verges on an innate need I think, to upcycle, repurpose and find a bargain had me feeling that Amanda was somehow a kindred spirit!
It isn’t all joy and laughter. Every now and then there are some heart wrenching and trying times which I think anyone that has animals knows and can relate to. Even if we can’t all quite relate to the tough life of farming on a remote hill farm. Sometimes even despite our best efforts, life with animals just does not go to plan.
Amanda’s narrative is honest and plain speaking and we’ve enjoyed it both by page and audiobook. I’ve listened and read with pure envy, if I’m honest, to her description of both Ravenseat and The Firs. With my own heart yearning for such a country living, I delighted with them, when, after much searching they finally acquire a beautiful stone farmhouse and land of their very own. Ravenseat is a tenant farm and they had long wanted a place that was theirs which they currently use as a holiday let – having documented, again with much hilarity and tribulations, it’s renovation in this book.
With Barry and I having a few tales to tell about the drives and events of picking up that items that seemed such a fantastic second hand bargain with little more than a prayer that it would fit the transport we had I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to learn that we are not the only ones that get ourselves into real and metaphorical scrapes along the way in the pursuit of something ‘just right’.
If the gorgeous Yorkshire landscape, the animal tales, and the humorous accounts of every day life aren’t enough to tempt you, there is then simply Amanda herself. How much admiration I have for this lady who is quite simply a powerhouse. Bearing nine children and pretty much just getting on with farm life straight after their arrival, running a shepherds hut B&B and holiday home, writing books and home baking. She and her family are so uniquely charming with their matter of fact, down to earth approach to life. She is a breath of fresh air.
If the current situation with the coronavirus has you feeling a little stir crazy, we cannot recommend more settling down with a home baked cake (hey we are all bakers now huh? 😉 ) and cuppa and escaping from it all with this, or any of Amanda’s tales of life on her Yorkshire Farm.
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