parrot in a pepper tree

November 6, 2008

A Parrot in  The Pepper Tree is Chris Stewart‘s second outing as an author, as opposed to being an Andalusian farmer, a sheep shearer in Sweden or the drummer for Genesis. His first, Driving Over Lemons, was so charming and amusing that it was just a matter of time before this landed on my shelves too.

His self-deprecating, gently bumbling style of writing works well when recounting the trials and tribulations of running a remote mountain farm with a family. Which, despite his funny take on almost everything, must have been painfully difficult at times. Best of all are his endearing encounters with the unsophisticated Alpujarran locals, which would be almost rude if he didn’t clearly love them so much.

All of these elements are present in his second book, although this book one seems more cobbled together from the various chapters in his life, such that the narrative thread is weaker. The book suffers as a result, though the writing is equally likeable.

Reviews of his third book seem equally mixed, with some liking it more and others less than this one. It seems to include some grittier themes, with the arrival of Moroccan immigrants to Southern Spain in search of work. I’m not sure I would have read it otherwise, but as it is I’ve just been checking to see if the library might have a copy for me…


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