Today I’m handing back to Mandie who has a review of Apple Island Wife by Fiona Stocker as part of the blog tour. Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting us to join the tour and to Publisher Unbound for providing the advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about:
The Bookish Bits
What happens when you leave city life and move to five acres on a hunch, with a husband who s an aspiring alpaca-whisperer, and a feral cockerel for company? Can you eat the cockerel for dinner? Or has it got rigor mortis?
In search of a good life and a slower pace, Fiona Stocker upped-sticks and moved to Tasmania, a land of promise, wilderness, and family homes of uncertain build quality. It was the lifestyle change that many dream of and most are too sensible to attempt.
Wife, mother and now reluctant alpaca owner, Fiona jumped in at the deep end. Gradually Tasmania got under her skin as she learned to stack wood, round up the kids with a retired lady sheepdog, and stand on a scorpion without getting stung.
This charming tale captures the tussles and euphoria of living on the land in a place of untrammelled beauty, raising your family where you want to and seeing your husband in a whole new light. Not just a memoir but an everywoman s story, and a paean to a new, slower age.
Memoirs can be a tricky thing, after all the writer is putting their life out there for others to read about and hoping that someone is interested enough to pick it up in the first place. I can honestly say this is one of those times you should take the chance and grab a copy of Apple Island Wife as you won’t be disappointed.
Fiona Stocker gives an honest and funny insight into life in Tasmania after she and her husband, along with daughter Daisy, decide to up sticks and move there. From the house hunt to increasing their livestock, the author tells of both the highs and the lows of all that it entails. Her observations on bra fittings and yoga post childbirth had me chucking for ages and most mothers will be able to relate to them. Her husband Oliver’s ‘can do, will do’ attitude is quite impressive. I can relate to the ‘his shed, his domain’ part of the story as my husband’s man cave (sorry shed) is his pride and joy too. There is only one reason I won’t let him read this book… and that is the land boat… I can deal with his periodical request to have chickens, but his love of tinkering with anything mechanical that can go fast is a battle I will never win, so why put fresh ideas in his head?
I am full of admiration for the way the author deals with all the bugs, snakes, creepy crawlies and vengeful alpacas and birds. Having hinted that the next venture is pig farming, I can’t wait to see if Fiona Stocker will once again let us into her life and have us chuckling once more.
About the Author
Fiona Stocker is the author of travel memoir Apple Island Wife – Slow Living in Tasmania, published by Unbound in 2018.
Raised in England, Fiona Stocker now lives in Tasmania where she writes freelance for magazines, newspapers and online publications, and runs a niche farm, food and tourism business in partnership with her husband.
She occasionally works as a ghost writer and editor, and was a judge in the Tasmanian Short Story Competition in 2016. Her first book, A Place in the Stockyard, a history of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture featuring its members, was published in 2016.
Read more and subscribe for a quarterly newsletter at http://www.fionastocker.com/ or read Fiona Stocker’s blog at http://www.appleislandwife.com/
Fiona Stocker lives in the Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania, with her husband, two children and around forty-five pigs.
Apple Island Wife is her first travel memoir. Twitter @FionaCStocker
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