[OZTL_NET] Review: A Year in the Valley - Jackie French

Losang Zopa losangzopa at gmail.com
Sat Oct 5 17:30:48 AEST 2013

A Year in the Valley: Seasons of Content – Jackie French

Harper Collins Australia

April 2010

*ISBN:* 9780732290641

Here I am, approaching another birthday and only just in the last couple of
weeks did I get to read the book given to me on my last birthday by my good
friend BB. While she is extremely lucky in being able to call Jackie French
a friend, at least I can lay claim to having meet Jackie several times and
had the extreme pleasure of her (and Brian’s) home hospitality - which made
reading this very personal account of Jackie’s  home life all the sweeter.

Jackie French’s home in the Araluen Valley is a testament to the dedication
that some people have to living in complete harmony with our very special
Australian landscape, flora and fauna while creating for themselves a
productive foodscape. In Jackie’s instance, this also means a careful
preservation of heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables.

In this journal, Jackie describes the seasonal changes in the valley while
detailing the day to day life of her family and friends with exquisite
skill. This is a book which will make you long to throw in your day job,
sell up everything you have and head for a similar lifestyle. It makes me
think of years reading Grass Roots magazine and dreaming, it makes me think
of biting into the delicious apricots and peaches my great-grandmother used
to grow and inspires to fill the house with the wonderful aromas of good
home cooking.

Having lived a little while not far away from the Araluen Valley and
becoming a little familiar with the nearby town of Braidwood, it made me
feel a little ‘homesick’ for a place where I was very happy. This will be a
book I will come back to for comfort often I feel – what a gift! Thank you

Give yourself some pleasure and grab a copy – sit in the sun and read ...
and dream.

Sue Warren
Qld T-L
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