Book Bingo 2019 is a collaboration challenge I am completing with my favourite bloggers, Theresa Smith Writes and The Book Muse. Each Saturday, on a fortnightly basis, beginning on Saturday 5th January 2019, Ashleigh, Theresa and I will complete a book review post, outlining our respective bingo card entries. The Book Bingo 2019 card contains a total of 30 squares, which we will complete over the course of the year, with the aim to complete the whole card by the end of December. Two of the Book Bingo entries this year will be flexible, so that means it is completely down us as to when we post these entries, to ensure all 30 are ticked off by the end of the year. Do keep an eye out on our respective blog sites for our bonus round entries! To keep things interesting for ourselves and those following along with us, the choice of bingo square to be covered will be entirely down to us, there is no crossover – that is planned anyway! However, as Ashleigh, Theresa and I enjoy similar books, especially books by Australian women writers, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up with more than one book double up, as was the case in 2018! We invite you to join us in this fun book related challenge, by linking your bingo card entries in the comments section of this post, tagging us on social media, or by visiting The Book Muse and Theresa Smith Writes.
What happens when you leave city life and move to five acres on a hunch, with a husband who’s an aspiring alpaca-whisperer, and a feral cockerel for company? Can you eat the cockerel for dinner? Or has it got rigor mortis?
In search of a good life and a slower pace, Fiona Stocker upped sticks to Tasmania, a land of promise, wilderness, and family homes of uncertain build quality. It was the lifestyle change that many dream of vcxzand most are too sensible to attempt.
This charming tale captures the tussles and euphoria of life on the land in a place of untrammelled beauty, and seeing your husband in a whole new light. Wife, mother and now reluctant alpaca owner, Fiona is a modern-day adventurer in alternative living. What she has written is an everywoman’s story, and a paean to a new, slower age.
‘This book is about the search for the good life. My husband and I found it, we believe in Tasmania.’
Fiona Stocker – Apple Island Wife
Apple Island Wife Slow Living in Tasmania, is a humorous and insightful memoir that details the adventures of a family who make the sea change from Britain to Tasmania. Told with honesty and a personal blend of wit, Apple Island Wife will be sure to convince readers to take a visit to the beautiful ‘Apple Isle’.
The hustle and bustle of life in Britain and Brisbane, convinced city dwellers Fiona and Oliver Stocker to take a chance on the Apple Isle. In search of a slower and more wholesome way of living, the Stockers expand their family, as they develop their dream home, on a five acre property. Life isn’t easy to begin with, the Stocker family contend with suspect tradesmen, wallabies that destroy their veggie patch and a few huntsman spiders along the way. Gradually, Fiona begins to embrace this new way of life, appreciating the tranquility, isolation and pure beauty of her new abode. There are new skills to be mastered and plenty of worthy friendships to be made. In the process, the Stockers come to embrace the good life.
I have had the pleasure of holidaying in Tasmania and I loved it so much. I still have the pipe dream that one day I will be able to return for an extended period of time, and perhaps even live there permanently. Over twenty seven chapters, along with an Epilogue and Patrons page, this amazing life change is outlined. Beginning with Fiona and Oliver’s life in Britain, it explains their initial move to Brisbane, their busy corporate life, followed by the bold move to Tasmania. Along the way, the Stockers have two children and they add a bevy of animals to their hobby farm.
Apple Island Wife is a memoir told with unfaltering honestly and it charts the mistakes, but also the successes that are made along the way of embracing country life. There are plenty of life knocks to bowl this family over, by the Stokers rise above, with a resolute and resilient attitude.
By far my favourite anecdotes in the memoir were the nature, fauna and flora based passages. Populated by wallabies, snakes, spiders, Tassie devils and much more, the Stokers also add to their brood with guinea fowl, alpacas and sheepdogs. Likewise, the descriptions of the surrounding scenery is simply breathtaking, I could easily visualise this hidden treasure of Australia. Fiona Stoker also draws our attention to the issues of forestry versus old growth forests and the push to protect the Apple Isle.
There are moments of pure despair, where your emotions pull you every which way. This is offset by instances of pure hilarity, often at the cost of the animals featured in Apple Island Wife. At all times I felt like I was in the close company of Fiona Stoker, as her conversational style of storytelling opens up a warm bond between the reader and the host.
Apple Island Wife is a memoir that gently reminds the reader to take a deep breath, slow down and consider a different mode of living. At the close of this memoir, Fiona Stoker has provided a sneak peak of the next chapter of her life, which she lovingly shares again with her audience. The Saddleback Wife is all about the transition to life as a pig farmer’s wife!
Apple Island Wife by Fiona Stocker was published on 20th November 2019 by Unbound Digital. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Apple Island Wife, Fiona Stoker, visit here.
*Thanks extended to the author for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Apple Island Wife is book #72 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge