Summary and book reviews of Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart

Driving Over Lemons

An Optimist in Andalucia

By Chris Stewart

Driving Over Lemons
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2000,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: May 2001,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

A funny, generous, wonderfully written account of an family making a life and home in remote but enchanting southern Spain.

At seventeen, Chris Stewart, the first drummer for the rock group Genesis, left the band and launched a career that included stints as a sailor, a sheep shearer, and a travel writer. And he has no regrets.

If he'd become a rock star, he might never have moved with his wife, Ana, to El Valero, a mountain farm in Andalucía, Spain, studded with olive, almond, and lemon groves -- but with no access road, water supply, or electricity. He might never have forged the friendship of a lifetime with his resourceful neighbor Domingo. He might never have had the adventures that resulted in both hilarious disasters and blissful serendipity. He might never have experienced the satisfying complexity of a simple life lived in one of Europe's most beautiful regions, among peasants, farmers, ex-pats, New Age travelers, and a growing family, or come to understand a place and its people with such depth and affection. And certainly Stewart, the eternal optimist, would never have written this delectable book and made us his utterly captivated audience.

El Valero

'Well, this is no good, I don't want to live here!' I said as we drove along yet another tarmac road behind a row of whitewashed houses. 'I want to live in the mountains, for heaven's sake, not in the suburbs of some town in a valley.'

'Shut up and keep driving,' ordered Georgina, the woman sitting beside me. She lit another cigarette of strong black tobacco and bathed me in a cloud of smoke.

I'd only met Georgina that afternoon but it hadn't taken her long to put me in my place. She was a confident young Englishwoman with a peculiarly Mediterranean way of seeming at ease with her surroundings. For the last ten years she had been living in the Alpujarras, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, south of Granada, and she had carved out a niche for herself acting as an intermediary between the farmers who wanted to sell their cortijos in the hills and move to town, and the foreigners who wanted to buy them. It was a tough job ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

A delightful British bestseller ...while genuinely humorous and ultimately light in tone, this vivid, assured debut presents substantial questions about the endurance of rural, agrarian traditions in the face of a supposedly seductive postmodern, wired mass culture.

The Daily Mail (UK)

Funny, affectionate, no hint of patronage, a true portrait of people and place.... Tuck it into your holiday luggage and dream.

The Daily Mail (UK)

Funny, affectionate, no hint of patronage, a true portrait of people and place.... Tuck it into your holiday luggage and dream.

Author Blurb Peter Mayle
A wonderful antidote to...modern electronic life. I love this book.

Author Blurb Peter Mayle
A wonderful antidote to...modern electronic life. I love this book.

Reader Reviews
Lisa Shepard

Just read it
After reading it myself, I have bought this book, and the ones that follow, for all my closest friends. I will wait patiently until Chris feels he has lived enough to fill another book, and will be first in the queue to buy it when it it published. ...   Read More

From there

Everything's a lie
Chris Stewart is absolutely wrong in his descriptions of the place. It seems that here we live in the third world and that everybody is an uncultivated and impolite peasant. And there are a lot of more mistakes made by this author that I will not ...   Read More

Anonymous

it held my attention from the first page to the last. interesting and humorous. makes you wish to have a life like that.

Alicia

A wonderful read. This book was a great escape from modern life.

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