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
  • 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

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

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...
  • Book Jacket
    Smoke
    by Dan Vyleta
    In Dan Vyleta's universe, set in an alternate Victorian England, people engaging in sinful thought ...

Who Said...

Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.