The cover of this book caught my eye at the bookshop. Alongside a very handsome rooster is a photo of an elegant pair of red stilettos- an unlikely combination.
“A Story of Seven Summers” tells the story of Hilary Burden who was living a glamorous life as a busy, high-flying, globetrotting magazine journalist based in London who decided that she wanted to make her own life and didn’t know quite what it was. As she states in the book, “While dating the exciting kind of men you meet in big cities, I fantasized about a partner who could also throw a dog on the back of a ute.”
Hilary returns to Tasmania after leaving in her early twenties, having never imagined that she would return. The run down house that she purchased and called “The Nun’s House” provides a vehicle for her to meet the locals and settle into country life within a small community. There was no particular plan, but things just worked out. The book is written in a casual manner that has an infectious quality about it. Each page eloquently describes some beauty of nature, a challenge of life or an encounter with a kindred spirit.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It must have taken guts to leave a lifestyle and income on the other side of the plan. There is no pretense in describing her cash flow problems or hiccups in her love life. The story is so “normal.” She took it on the chin when things in the garden didn’t work out or when projects she was hoping to work on failed.
There are some lovely recipes in the book, borrowed from those who are close to her. The photos are all black and white, that, being a photo enthusiast, I found a little disappointing but it did emphasize that life can be lived simply and very happily. After all, there are other ways to explore the beautiful island of Tasmania with photographs in this modern world.
Follow the link for some beautiful photos: