THE AUTUMN TRANSHUMANCE
Applying the handbrake, she sat back and watched the passing tide.
They were streaming down the hillside to the right, above the road, a bobbing phalanx maybe twenty or thirty animals wide, before slowing and spreading wider as they reached the brief plateau of tarmac, the way water pools below a flight of rapids. A few stragglers circled off on to the grass verges and began to graze. But the central current continued its course and began to pick up momentum again as it narrowed to siphon through a gateway gap in the drystone wall on the left …’
This first, descriptive paragraph, already has me, in my mind’s eye, bowling along country lanes, window down to absorb the scents and smells of the countryside. It needs to be a lovely warm sunny day, the only sound being the incessant bleating of the flock of sheep, as they move on to pastures new, without a care in the world and completely oblivious to the more pressing demands of their fellow road users ….. oops sorry!!! getting carried away there !!
I also loved these lines from the prologue ..
‘ It was perhaps the wildest view of all my journey. Peak upon peak, chain upon chain of hills ran surging south-ward, channelled and sculptured by the winter streams, feathered from head to foot with chestnuts …’
Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes’
I have noticed that many of you have read and reviewed this book, over the last few weeks, so was therefore surprised and pleased when Rosy contacted me with a similar request.
The book has met with almost universal acclaim and many 4 and 5 star ratings, so I can’t wait to get started on it and hopefully write an original review that will adequately do it justice, although with most of the superlative adjectives having already been used on more than one occasion, it’s going to be a tall order.
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Update 13th May 2011
My thoughts about this book can now be found by clicking here: