Driving Over Lemons is that rare thing: a funny, insightful book that charms you from the first page to the last... and one that makes sinking your life savings into an old Spanish mountain farm, on the wrong side of the river, with no access road, water supply or electricity, seem like a perfectly reasonable career move.
Chris Stewart, the eternal optimist, transports us to Las Alpujarras, an oddball region south of Granada, and into a series of misadventures with an engaging mix of farmersand shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. The hero of the piece, however, is their farm, El Valero, a bright patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, nestled above an intersection of two rivers. What better place to set up home with their menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens, doves and a flock of wayward sheep or, indeed, to bring up their daughter Chloé?
This anniversary edition of Driving Over Lemons includes a NEW CHAPTER in which we rejoin Chris and Ana, still thriving at El Valero, 25 years on.
Chris Stewart shot to fame with Driving Over Lemons in 1999. Funny, insightful and real, the book tells the story of how he bought a peasant farm on the wrong side of the river, with its previous owner still resident. It became an international bestseller, along with its sequels; A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society and Last Days of the Bus Club.
In an earlier life, Chris was the original drummer in Genesis (he played on the first album), then joined a circus, learnt how to shear sheep, went to China to write the Rough Guide, gained a pilot's licence in Los Angeles, and completed a course in French cooking. His sort of prequel, Three Ways to Capsize a Boat, fills in his lost years as a yacht skipper in the Greek islands