When Life Gives You Lemons…You Read About Them

With summer well and truly underway, I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading…in between working five days a week of course! Being a literature student means I have to read a lot, very fast; and you can’t always fully enjoy these books knowing that a 2,500 word essay worth 50% of your grade is attached to it. Therefore, whenever I get the chance, I like to read something a little different. A bit more fun, more relaxed, and certainly not related to any sort of meta essay question.

Whilst browsing the library the other week, I came across a book in the travel literature section titled ‘The Land Where Lemons Grow’, by Helena Attlee. It has good reviews from reputable sources, so I decided to give it a chance. Oh, and it’s about the lemon gardens of Italy, a country with which I have a slight obsession with.

I’ve been reading the book for a little over a week now, and I can genuinely say I’m really enjoying it. It doesn’t follow a traditional narrative structure, and each chapter jumps around in different parts of Italy where lemons are the root of their culture. Attlee explores the history, and in a way the future of these special citrus gardens and their importance to Italian heritage. However, she does it in a way that isn’t ‘articly’ or long-winded; an entire book about Italian citrus fruit may sound boring, but Attlee surprises you with connections to the Mafia, WW2, even important scientific discoveries. After just a few chapters, you’ll have a strange new-found respect…for lemons!

Each pageĀ transports to the lemon scented gardens of Italy, basking in the beautiful sunshine and supplying endless amounts of Limoncello. The book works well in those days where summer seems to be over here in England, and also for the days where the heat comes blazing back. To all in need of a refreshing, relaxing summer read, I’d definitely recommend. However, be warned – you may find yourself frantically loading up SkyScanner to find the next flight out to Italy!




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