Summary and book reviews of Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart

Driving Over Lemons

An Optimist in Andalucia

by Chris Stewart

Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart X
Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2000, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2001, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

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 ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
  • award image

Reviews

Media Reviews

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.

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.

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

Alicia

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

Derek Miles

Role on the follow up

casey

I really liked this book. It was very entertaining. Best of luck to Chris.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Driving Over Lemons, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...
  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    When We Left Cuba
    by Chanel Cleeton

    An exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Fly Girls
by Keith O'Brien

How five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.