Top critical review
26 February 2018
I didn't enjoy this book. No. Let's be honest, I hated it and it gave me a horrible headache.
The main thread of the book is about moving to the Countryside and seems contrived, or even fictitious.
Other tree/sea change books I've read are believable, this one was not. Most of us who tree change do so to enjoy self sufficiency, and are well versed having read many books dealing with both crops and small farm animals.
I tree changed many years ago and love my milking goats and cows as well as my myriad poultry, and am still living this life today. I also found this Author unconcerned that her cats had free range to eat the wild life and disliked her 'townie' attitude to other small holding animals.
As to humour, Andrea Frazer has an acerbic tongue. She happily assassinates the character of her village acquaintances - whom she calls friends - as her way to find humour. I've seen this happen in real life, and it's judgemental and unpleasant. It isn't even faintly humorous. There was nothing funny in the way she disparaged her parents either, and I began to dislike her from then on. She sees herself as a vastly superior person.
I suggest she read authors like Lillian Beckwith to see how that lovely author gently builds unforgettable characters, and the kind humour of her crofting life in the Hebrides. She 'shows' not 'tells".
There were prose passages I could have enjoyed - its always nice to take in the beauty of the countryside. After all, that's part of the reason we are there. However this was impossible...
Which leads me to my next gripe. Punctuation! She has the strangest love of the comma. They are everywhere - where they shouldn't be.
It made the writing choppy and hard to read. I had to constantly re-read and re-read. This should have been cleaned up in editing. I lost the gist, having to go back pages when I realised I had totally missed some important event.
The length of sentences may have had something to do with the torpidity the writing induced. Unbelievably long sentences broken into choppy rafts by more commas than needed doesn't get writing to flow.
Another peeve is Mrs Frazer signposts any impending bad happening. These events should unfold, (unless we are psychic). Pssst! Her use of asides as demonstrated by the one in brackets is also annoying.
I don't recommend this book. My experience was such that I will never buy another Andrea Frazer book ever again.