In 2002, Carol Drinkwater published her memoir of finding a new life and career when she purchased an olive farm in France. It was a wonderful book, and subsequently, the author wrote several follow-ups about her farm and life in France. With The Olive Tree, Drinkwater journeys around the Mediterranean, searching for the origins and new information/stories about the olive tree itself.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Not only was this a charming travelogue, with visits to far flung places and interesting people, but Carol Drinkwater managed to make her interest in olive farming fascinating to me. There were many times I feared for her, a lone woman traveling in Spain, the Middle East and Italy. There were many times I envied her – savoring the food and the culture of these exotic locales. I was amazed that she stumbled upon a 3,000 year old olive tree, and I was interested in the effects of climate and modern business practices upon the end product – that bottle of extra virgin olive oil that made it’s way to my kitchen. But the trip was a harsh one, and I was glad she enabled me to come along without the struggles she endured. I highly recommend this book to anyone who like to armchair travel with a taste for learning.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2009