A Story of Seven Summers: Life in the Nun’s House by Hilary Burden
As soon as I read that this book was set in Tasmania around Pipers River, Karoola and Lilydale I had to read it, as this is where I grew up and spent the first few years of married life. Hilary also grew up on this picturesque isle and was drawn back to its slower pace after a successful career as a London based journalist travelling the world. Hilary admits that she yearned for a calmness and a life that had more meaning for her. Having bought the historic property of Nun’s House off the internet, sight unseen, she heads to Karoola. Here she finds that life simply flows from season to season and that the old house she now owns can bring a serenity, as she slowly uncovers its beauty and story. Advice and friendship are easily given in this small community and the purchase of alpacas Jack and Kerouac, and hens Marilyn and Monroe add to the completeness of Hilary’s new life.
The simple narrative style of A Story of Seven Summers imitates the new life and jealously I read of her taking off for walks on empty beaches, wine tasting at local vineyards and eating delicious home grown food. This experience leads her to found “Hillbarn” a business venture that provides locally grown vegetables and produce, boxed each week and delivered to fellow foodies who value beautiful, tasty, fresh and seasonal goods direct from farmers. Sometimes we all yearn for a simpler life, a pace set by nature , and if you can’t quite manage it yet, then read about someone who is living the life.