The Farm by Richard Benson is on Richard and Judy's Book Club list The dream of escaping city life and living in the British countryside is still a compelling one.
Ian Walthew left school aged eighteen and spent six months walking across Spain, living as a tramp and following in the footsteps of the Cotswold writer Laurie Lee who wrote about his pre-civil war journey in As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. Ian eventually fell into the newspaper industry and ended his media career as worldwide Marketing Director on the executive board of the Paris-based newspaper The International Herald Tribune. After nearly a decade living and working abroad in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris and travelling the world he was thirty-four when he unexpectedly resigned and moved with his Australian wife Hannah to the Cotswolds.
"affecting and inspiring memoir...His elegiac account of relearning how to be an Englishman should be required reading for anyone who claims to know or love this country" -- Melissa Katsoulis THE FINANCIAL TIMES "Funny, touching and ultimately very moving, this is a beautiful, unsentimental account of a personal loss that is reflected in the rapidly changing texture of life in rural England." -- Clover Stroud THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "One of "The Top Ten Summer Holiday Books You Must Own - On the verge of a nervous breakdown, former marketing boss Walthew bought a place in the country to love out his rural dream. Naturally, it wasnt quite as simple as that" THE MAIL ON SUNDAY "A riveting read" -- Leslie Geddes-Brown COUNTRY LIFE "The book is a fascinating snapshot. All of life is here - birth, death, struggles with illness, hard work, lots of laughter. It will make you smile gently to yourself, laugh out loud, shed a quiet tear and feel angry at the changes happening in our countryside." NFU COUNTRYSIDE MAGAZINE '"The writing had me close to tears...one of the most rewarding books that I've read for quite a while." THEBOOKBAG.CO.UK "An entertaining memoir of life in Gloucecestershire...A beautifully written book which has something to amuse or enlighten on almost every page." -- Chris Gray OXFORD TIMES "A tale of moving to the country that even those who actually live and work there might enjoy" THE SHOOTING TIMES "Compelling and often deeply moving...Walthew has a genuine gift for bringing both people and places to life and marshals his runaway real life narratives with a novelist's skill." -- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 'a revealing and sometimes painful account of life in 21st century English countryside...it is beautifully written and very moving.' -- Fergus Collins COUNTRYFILE