The Artist, the Farmer and the Ancient Oak
Linda L. Oliphant 5 stars: A truly uplifting story.
The title intrigued me and the cover drew me in, so I opened the book. I walked past the cows, the chickens and the fields that sprinkled the countryside. I soon came upon Lucas Woods and there it was, a massive ancient oak tree. He told me his name was Quercus. Yes, a talking tree!The strong characters and the well blended family dynamics are the strengths of this story. Buchanan nonchalantly draws you deeply into the throes of not just Wanda’s life; but that of her whole family, including the in-laws and of course, the Ancient Oak.
The story moves along at a nice pace with all of the ups, downs and pressures of real life; Glen with the running of a large farm and Wanda has just rediscovered her joy of painting. I reread the last few chapters several times and sighed. The Artist and the Farmer and the Ancient Oak is a moving story of love, growth and strength. The Artist, the Farmer and the Ancient Oak is a truly uplifting story.
Francesca 5 stars: An absolute joy to read!
This book is an absolute delight. Enjoyed it from start to finish & hard to put down. Lovely story on the surface with important messages coming through. A must read!
Ute Wieczorek-King 5 stars: A captivating story with a perfect twist!
At first glance this book seems to be about the hard life on a Suffolk farm and a farmer’s wife who doesn’t seem to fit in. But as you read on, you realise this is a life-affirming story about the difficulties of adjusting to change and finding the courage to follow your heart.
The main character, Wanda, is a woman in her midlife who is made to feel that she is very much the underdog as she grows up, and doesn’t feel strong enough to say no to the unrealistic expectations placed on her. She quietly rebels against the pressure placed on her but resisting the negativity she receives from certain family members feels just too hard.
Constantly criticised for her way of doing things and not conforming to the accepted practices of the farm, she is made to feel not just uncaring but incapable. Inevitably her marriage deteriorates, and she feels deeply unappreciated and unfulfilled. After seeking solace in the woods, she realises there is another world out there and another way of thinking. But it takes something bad to rock her world before she has the courage to act on her instincts.
I found it hard to put this book down and would recommend it as a wonderful read on holiday or a quiet weekend. The author has a way of drawing you deeply into the character’s life to the point where you imagine being there with her. At the end, she finds a way that benefits everyone, and you almost want to celebrate her courage to follow through with her convictions.
Mrs. Eva Lindsay 5 stars: Feel-good with a serious message
The world would be a better place if trees could speak English.
Derek Woodhead 5 stars: Be inspired by nature and follow your heart!
A very readable and inspiring story about the challenges of adjusting to change, using the wisdom of nature and finding the courage to follow your heart.
A great read; I thoroughly recommend it!
Cate the Cantor 5 stars: Great story with an interesting twist
Really readable and engaging tale with a fascinating take on the challenge of modern farming Vs the ancient wisdom of the land.
Dollyrocker 5 stars: A great read. Bravo!!
I've just finished reading The Artist, The Farmer and the Ancient Oak.
What a delightful novel. I have enjoyed Gill Buchanan's previous books and this one certainly doesn't disappoint.
The main character, Wanda, finds herself having to run a farm alone following her husband Glen's accident. She is hopelessly ill-prepared for such a challenge but she bravely takes it on.
In her turmoil she finds herself looking to nature for the answers and one particular tree, Quercus, magically has advice for her! His message is very much one for our times: the urgent need to go organic and to treat the planet with more care.
Wanda is an artist too and right in the whirlwind of her life she receives an offer to exhibit her work in America. She grabs the opportunity with both hands and, to her delight, the show is a big success.
Then, as her husband recovers and returns to the farm, she must somehow learn to juggle and balance these elements in her life.
Perhaps Quercus is the only one who can guide her to the real answers.
This book is great fun. It's a real page-turner too. And, as a bonus, I learned a good deal about dairy farming along with the tale.
Perhaps there may be a sequel to this novel one day. If there is then Wanda would be just the sort of strong woman to inspire us in our struggle to protect the nature and planet we all love and need.