This is a comforting read! Definitely a book I want to keep on my shelf, for long winter evenings.
Susan Hill dreamed that she bought an old house in the country…. and then she did.
Ms. Hill describes life in the country in ‘ye old England’-village-style. She writes very warmly about old houses, friendly villagers, changing seasons, countryside beauty and nature. She writes about plum preserves and putting up a summer’s harvest, and even includes favorite recipes (gotta try that red cabbage one, and the tea bread!) The section about the villagers going Christmas-carolling together put me in the Christmas spirit, even though it was still September when I was reading it!
“It was never a surprise to me to meet Susan, wearing her apron covered in flour in her large cosy farmhouse, but knowing this was also the Susan who writes books full of darkness and yearning. A writer must be many minded.” (from “The Guardian”, Oct. 2003).
The author’s love of countryside and hearth shines in this book and an biographical sketch of her (from the above article), describes her as an author I want to read more of!
“Susan Hill is the author of award-winning literary fiction, Gothic entertainments and light-hearted chronicles of country life. Good and evil loom large in her serious work and she has used writing as catharsis, particularly after suffering personal tragedy. She found happiness with a Shakespeare scholar and revels in her rural family life.”
Although Susan Hill is a prolific author, and competent in more than one genre, “The Magic Apple Tree” is not a novel (in case fiction is your thing). Nor is it written per se, in a ‘memoir’ style. “Apple Tree” is just more of a book you can pick up and read a chapter or two (choose a season. What do you feel like reading about; spring, summer, winter or fall?), when you want to have a ‘get away’ and read about country life in a quiet setting.