Book Club: Carol Drinkwater


12.07.10

Actress, Carol Drinkwater is best known for her role as Helen Herriot in the classic BBC series, All Creatures Great and Small...

In recent years Carol has become an accomplished novelist, achieving bestselling status with her much loved memoirs of live on an Olive farm in the South of France...

Carol is here to talk about her new book, Return to the Olive Farm


Actress, Carol Drinkwater is best known for her role as Helen Herriot in the classic BBC series, All Creatures Great and Small... In recent years Carol has become an accomplished novelist, achieving bestselling status with her much loved memoirs of live on an Olive farm in the South of France...

The Olive Farm series beautifully captured, with humanity and humour, the passionate struggles of Carol and her family making a life and business for themselves in a foreign land... Carol joins us now...


 - Actress Carol Drinkwater is probably best known for her role as Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. Also an accomplished novelist, she has achieved bestselling status with her much-loved memoirs of life on an olive farm in Provence.

 - Carol has been invited to work with UNESCO to help found an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean Basin. The aim is to create peace within the region and honour the heritage of this sacred tree.

Return to the Olive Farm:

 - After sixteen months of travelling round the Mediterranean in search of the ancient secrets of the olive tree, Carol returns to her beloved olive farm in the south of France, to her husband Michel and his burgeoning family. However, the homecoming celebrations are overshadowed by disturbing discoveries.

 - The plight of the honey bee has become an international crisis and Carol is faced with unsettling news about the hives on her own olive farm. The bee colony that has regularly wintered at Carol's farm has been decimated while she was away, poisoned by insecticides.

 - While the multinational companies are pushing for 'bigger, better, bumper' crops, a small band of farmers and ecologists are calling for a halt to many of the modern farming malpractices that are endangering the planet. Carol is amongst them. But it puts her own farm, her idyll, under threat. At what point do you turn your back on all that you believe in and all that you have been fighting for?

 - This is the story of how Carol and Michel struggle with some difficult choices, and how they decide to deal with the unavoidable disappointments and inevitable responsibilities that come with running an organic farm. Return to the Olive Farm is a song of the earth. With its lyricism, humanity and humour, Return to the Olive farm is a beautifully written book that passionately confronts the issues of today; issues that impact upon each and everyone of us.

 - Life and love, olive groves and bee hives in Provence - further adventures in the bestselling Olive Farm series.

 - she will be at the West Cork Literary Festival - Literary Tea at Bantry House,  Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland at 1630 today, the 10th July


The Olive Route:

 - Like the Silk Road and the Spice Route, the Olive Route - stretching 2,200 miles from Gibraltar to northern Syria - encompasses not just a journey, but an epic adventure involving the age-old transportation of a precious commodity. Carol Drinkwater travelled along this beautiful and sometimes dangerous route, uncovering ancient stories, meeting striking and courageous people and tracing its venerable olive culture. Tracking the Cretans, Phoenicians, Greeks and the Romans, amongst others, she eventually finds her way back to her olive farm in the sun-baked hills of southern France.

 - The Olive Route recounts a thrilling, heroic, sensual and entertaining journey by the bestselling author of the much loved Olive series.


The Olive Tree:

 - 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.