May Books 11) The Crocodile by the Door, by Selina Guinness
I'm coming back to Tibradden, to live with Charles again. I've driven down from Belfast with boxes stacked on the back seat; Colin will follow with the rest of his belongings when his term has finished.
Selina was one of my brother's college friends at TCD, and I always vaguely regretted not getting to know her better, and wondered what she ended up doing. Well, she ended up taking on the (small, run-down) family estate in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, and combining the burdens of twenty-first century farming with her academic career and family. This is an extraordinary book about dealing with changes in family and society, beautifully written, lucidly and emotionally told, and with no punches pulled in her own self-examination of dealing with the intricacies of both family commitments and government bureaucracy, in the years of the inflation and bursting of the Irish property bubble. It's brilliant and you should all go and get it. (I see it's just out in paperback as well.)