The following review has been posted on Amazon UK & US + Goodreads
I was blown away by this book and read it in a few sittings. The memoir had been on my kindle for a while and I really hadn't expected it to be so good, but it turned out to be such a cracker of a read that I could hardly put it down. Jill Pennington and her husband have experience of renovating "doer upper" old houses and decide to buy one in a mountain village in Italy.
Unfortunately, Jill's husband flits too often back and forth between his various business interests in other countries and also unbeknown to his wife has frequent visits to his long term mistress. Eventually the feckless husband leaves Jill and their children more or less to fend for themselves in their newly adopted country and living in a house only partly renovated.
How Jill and her children adapt to their circumstances is truly remarkable. Living on very little and through an enormous amount of hard graft Jill provides for her family, single-handedly renovates the house, grows and rears their food to give them a fantastic lifestyle in a country they all love. A highly recommended inspiring read.
Update: This memoir was published in 2013. This remarkably tough lady is still living in the same house in Italy and still trying to make ends meet and raising a family on her own. Fans of the book are awaiting a sequel because there will be much to write about I'm sure.
If a reader would like to experience Italy in the beautiful Apennines Jill offers glamping holidays that are exceedingly good value at Goat Cottage on her property