Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Susan Branch's A Fine Romance, a review

I've been a fan of Susan Branch since purchasing her first cookbook long ago.

Even after downsizing and giving away a a lot of cookbooks over the years, I hold on to the above four.  They hold a permanent place on my kitchen bookshelves!

Many of Susan's fans were thrilled when she began blogging.  It has been even more fun to read her blog than I anticipated.  She is one of the few bloggers I read regularly (other than decorating blogs) that are not "women of Faith".   With that exception, she is still very much a soul sister.

Last year we went along with her on the two month long journey she and her husband, Joe, took to England.  She said at the time on various posts that she was keeping a journal which would eventually be shared. I knew from that first announcement I'd want a copy!

England and Susan's illustrations?  What could be better. 

Well, the day the book arrived I perused it a bit and then started seriously reading it the next day.  Which was not easy since I was dizzy!  But it was worth it and I had a hard time putting it down.

I loved this book immediately.  She shares how she met Joe after already deciding she would never get into a relationship again (if you know her story, she went through a very difficult divorce when she was young).

Then she takes us along on their "crossing" of the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2.  (Sigh... I am not a good sailor but I'd take Dramamine and spend every afternoon on the ship at their Tea Time party.)  Did you know there is a difference between a "crossing" and a "cruise"?

Then there is "the rest of the story" as we walk through the gorgeous countryside of England with her, stopping at beautiful homes and luscious gardens.  Not to mention how she describes the food.

What I did not realize until reading this book... and I should after enjoying her blog... is that Susan is as talented a writer as she is artist/illustrator.

Many of the homes and towns they stop at are those associated with famous authors. 

Since they were in England for two months, they would stay in an area for awhile and really get to know the people and places.

I've put this review in a "Show and Tell" format because words cannot express how beautiful this book is.  Only some pictures from it's pages can truly show why I love it so much.

It will always have a place on my bookshelf with favorites.  Most likely with the books I pick up and peruse from time to time that never truly gets shelved.  Give me a little chocolate, a cup of coffee in the morning (or tea in the afternoon), and this book... I'm happy.

For more information about A Fine Romance:  Falling in love with the English Countryside just mosey on over here.  At the time of this writing, the book is still $4.00-ish less than the pre-order price!

Legal Stuff... yes, that is an Associate's Link and when you order through it... you bless me (or any other blogger whose widget you enter Amazon through).  :)


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I've been in England three times in my life, and loved each time...Each was very different. I checked my order and it's still not shipped. Sigh. I hope I don't need to wait two months...Used copies are already more expensive. But I know whenever I get one, I will love it!

Vee said...

Ordered it this morning and forgot to use the widget. I hate when that happens! Just may have to gift some for Christmas, though, and will surely remember then.

I used to read Susan's blog, but gave it up one day...can't remember why now...should return. I have her calendars each year, "Love," and "Christmas Memories," which is a scrapbook for one to keep. I've never kept it. The pages are empty except for Susan's delicious drawings and writing. Well I shall remedy that this year, too, when I pass it along to someone who might use it. Perhaps a giveaway on the blog or something...

Thanks for the review...enjoyed seeing the pages I'll soon be seeing for myself. And the power of your suggestion is that I ordered it based on the pre-review! ☺

Vee said...

Oops...reading Kristi's comment reminds me that I may have to wait.

Brenda Leyland @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Oooo...thanks for the heads up on Susan's newest book. I haven't been to her blog in a while, so I wasn't aware this was in the air.

Thanks for sharing glimpses of what looks like a lovely, lovely book.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Well, I'm smiling now....Just had an email from amazon that my copy should be delivered August 26th! What joy!

Donna Wilson said...

Brenda-- thank you for sharing the fact that the price had been reduced at Amazon. I went through your widget (lookiing glass?) and was able to purchase and use my Amazon Prime foe free shipping. I'm very grateful to you for letting us know about the very good deal. I also enjoy Susan's blog and artwork. Flipping over her calendar each month is a little gift :)


HeatherMavis said...

This book has been on my wish list.
I'm amazed that there would be "used copies". Why would someone by this book and then sell it?
I must take the hint here and use your widget.

Deb said...

Hi Brenda, thanks for the review and the reveal of some gorgeous pages! I wish I could letter like she does. Even though I once took a scrapbooking class to learn how to write Susan Branch style, it didn't stick...I'm just not artistic. Her work is a joy to see.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

It's lovely...I just may put it on my birthday list!


Cheryl (Copperswife) said...

Lovely. Thanks for the review.

Suburban prep said...

love Susan's blog.
I read it as much as I can.
I was reading it as she went on this trip last year.
8 ys ago I returned from England via the Queen Mary 2. I am unable to fly due to a health issue and therefore enjoyed the ship. It meant we took a ship over just not the QM2.
Susan is coming to my area for a tea I am looking forward to going.

Susan Branch said...

Dear Brenda, I just found this by accident! It was so nice and such a surprise I had to write and thank you! ♥ Susan