Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen. See what I thought of the book below.
Title: The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen
Author: Julia Ibbotson
Publisher: New Generation Publishing
Published: August 22 2011
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3 Stars
When author Julia Ibbotson and her husband first saw the old Victorian rectory in dire need of renovation, a mile out of the nearest village in the midst of the English moorlands, they fell in love with it and the lifestyle it represented, with its farmhouse kitchen range at its heart. This delightful memoir describes the trials and tribulations of their quest to make their vision come true. They hoped they could make the sad, neglected house glow again and that they could integrate themselves into the small traditional village, with its cottages, hall and outlying farms. The Old Rectory focuses on the centrality of the kitchen as the pulse of the family and home, and shows the importance of food and cooking throughout the changing seasons, history and moods of the countryside as the couple strive to live the dream.
This book is a nice look at the personal history of the author with some historical points mixed in. The book has a mostly easy going simple style.
I most enjoyed the different recipes that the author provided for each of their seasons in the rectory. It was also nice to read about a more simplistic life in the country. I'm a city girl at heart, and always will be, but it's always nice to see the other side of things. I have to say that life in the country seems to have a very unique set of challenges.
There was a lot of history involving the rectory that the author purchased. And while this was a nice balance to the personal anecdotes, I have to admit that at times the historical portions did get confusing. I think there was just too much to it. There were a few too many people mentioned, in ties with the house, and all of the documentation and so forth.
Of course, my preference were for all of the delicious recipes, but I think this book would be a hit with anyone who likes to learn about historic places or anyone who likes memoirs.
About The Author:
Julia Ibbotson is the award-winning author of The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, first published to acclaim in the USA and now re-launched with a brand-new cover by her new English publisher in the UK. Julia has been writing creatively all her life (unpublished!) but her day jobs to pay the mortgage have been as a school teacher and latterly a university academic, gaining her PhD at the age of 57. She delights in being a wife and mother to four, with four little grandchildren. She loves reading, gardening, growing food, cooking for family and friends and country life. Having published many academic texts and papers, she came late to actually publishing her creative writing, at the age of 60 plus, when she was persuaded to write the story of the renovation of her Victorian rectory in The Old Rectory. She has combined memoir, history, research, story and recipes in this first published book, which has won a number of international book festivals in the biography category, gained 5 star reviews on Amazon, and has been widely featured (along with her house) in the media. She has begun to delve into the world of blogging, facebook and now has her own website at www.juliaibbotson.com at which she also posts blogs regularly, about writing, life and her passions. Her new project is a trilogy of novels following the life story of a new character, Jess, through from fleeing to West Africa as a volunteer teacher/nurse in the 1960s to the millennium. The first of the series, Drumbeats, is due to be published later this year. You can find out more on her website and on her author page on Amazon.
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