Book Title: Living Off The Land by Lorraine Turnbull
To make her dream come true Lorraine Turnbull dragged her new husband and reluctant children away from Glasgow to live the ‘Good Life’ on a smallholding in Cornwall. Sheep wrestling, making cider, dealing with maggots and a demented mother and all under the pressure of the dreaded Agricultural Occupancy Condition. Lorraine shares the story of the delights and disasters of living off the land in Cornwall and how she finally triumphed over adversity.
Author Bio and Image:
Lorraine Turnbull was born in Glasgow where she lived until 2015 when she and her family moved to a tired bungalow and an acre of land with an Agricultural Occupancy Condition on it in Cornwall. She started a smallholding from scratch, retrained as a horticultural tutor and also worked as a Skills Co-ordinator for The Rural Business School. She began commercial cider making in 2011 and until recently ran a profitable small craft cider business.
In 2014 she was recognised for her contribution to sustainable living by winning the Cornwall Sustainability Awards Best Individual category.
After removing the Agricultural Occupancy Condition on her home she relocated to a smallholding in France.
Book Review by Dr Clare Horrocks for Love Books Group
As a keen vacationer to Cornwall, I was eager to sign up for this review. However, this was no cosy Fern Britton or Liz Fenwick version of Cornwall. Instead there was an illuminating insight into purchasing a small holding and how to make it work within the terms and conditions of the lease. I have always wondered what it would be like to escape it all to Cornwall, this text showed it may not be as easy as the chick lit novels would have us believe!!
That isn’t to say that this book doesn’t have its laugh out loud moments, the heart warming events that have us cheering for the heroine. Throughout the book I was on the journey with the author, willing her to succeed and that is what we surely want from all our books? Equally there were some gasp out loud moments that had me groaning in empathy for the writer. No more hints, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you!!
What I would commend this book for though is its beautiful treatment of dementia, the gentle mockery that turns into gut wrenching sadness as Lorraine loses her mother to that most cruel of illnesses. This was as heart warming a narrative as books like Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (2014). However it is all the more poignant when you remember that this is what actually happened to the author. I can imagine it helping so many people who may be facing their own battles with elderly parents and I would commend this book to you, as much for this narrative, as the Cornish Dream it also portrays.
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