The Olive Tree
£7.99 PB 352pp
THE OLIVE TREE charts Carol Drinkwater’s colourful and often dangerous journey in search of the routes that olive cultivation has taken over the centuries. Set during a springtime Mediterranean that is evocative and perennial, it is above all a tale of our time. Troubled by challenges her own South of France farm is experiencing – attack by a virulent pest, the premature ripening of the trees’ fruits – Carol realises new approaches to farming are becoming essential. Traditional customs have been set aside while the use of excessive chemicals is putting the harvests of her crops (and others) at risk. Changing patterns within the world’s climate demand urgent action.
Carol’s quest takes her south through Spain – now the home of more olive trees than anywhere else on earth – Morocco, Algeria and Italy before she finally returns to her farm. As a woman travelling alone, she is frequently vulnerable and never more so than in Algeria where, on her arrival, terrorist bombs are exploding, devastating the capital. Determined not to give up, Carol accepts the support of a network of beekeepers who parcel her across troubled territories. Through her travels and vivid, sometimes unlikely encounters, Carol confronts some of the critical issues of our time – land-care and the harsh realities of diminishing water reserves – and ends her momentous journey in the company of olive growers whose vision for the future is remarkable and ingenious.
The Olive Tree Reviews
“Her writing is often lyrical and unexpectedly poetic, making this book a surefire hit on many levels.” – The Weekender, South Africa
“A gripping adventure” – Belfast Telegraph
“Carol’s latest book, The Olive Tree, is a fascinating personal travelogue that addresses some crucial issues of our time” – The Middle East Magazine
“..with the publication of the Olive Tree, it’s now a five book epic which defies description. Is it a biography, a travelogue, a love story? …” – Classic FM Arts Daily online
“It is Drinkwater’s ability to engage and empathise with those she encounters — whether on her farm or on her travels — that makes her such a popular writer.” – Irish Independent
“The book is an engaging combination of travelogue and mystery story with many apposite observations on green issues – another area that Carol feels very strongly.” – Yorkshire Post
“Drinkwater’s passion and curiosity are contagious…lively prose holds unexpectedly poetic bursts and an insightful account of how the Mediterranean treats a woman travelling alone…” – Kathleen Wyatt, Times