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A Story of Seven Summers
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A Story of Seven Summers

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  27 reviews
'Looking back over seven summers, I know that who I am is where I am. It might not be the secret to life, but it is the secret to this life ... I'll tell you how that came to be and that will be the story of the Nuns' House.'

On the outside, Hilary Burden was living a glamorous life -- she was a busy, high-flying, globetrotting magazine journalist based in London, who thoug
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! And such a courageous woman, I wish I was gutsy enough to accomplish all that she has. I loved reading about her adventures and mulled over her positive little philosiphies and daily life lessons. Best of all was the fact that she was getting pretty worried about having no cash flow for a while there and it became evident that this isn't your run-of-the-mill story of a cashed up, middle-aged woman who embarks on a new life. Hilary actually had to get creative and find a way to ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I really enjoyed ready this book as it was full of what life throws at you and what life has to offer you. But not only that it is a real story, the story of a life and the changes that one person (Hilary Burden) has made in order to realise what her life means and what a new life is all about.
Love the flow, the stories of food and the recipes of which I will be trying.
A Story of Seven Summers
Hilary Burden
Allen & Unwin Australia Pty. Ltd.
Cathy Atkinson
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-read
I really enjoyed this book. It is easy to relate to the need to leave the rat race behind and find true meaning to living in a more realistic way. I admire the courage and tenacity! Loved the recipes and connections to real people throughout the book. Rather spend my time enjoying this type of read than the grrr of 'The Natural Way of Things' - which was such a waste of time, effort and emotion. Love feeling inspired and uplifted! ...more
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Read this as it’s set in the area in which I live. I didn’t love the writing style - it seemed a bit disjointed, but there were some inspiring observations about how good it is to be in touch with the natural world. I liked the final section more than the rest. 2.5-3 stars.
Stuart Robinson
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this account of one individuals re-discovery, partly of themselves, and yet also of where they grew up. An organic progression of establishing life and finding love.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing style! She kept my full attention that I devoured it in a couple of days. Please give us more, Ms. Burden!
Rhody Reader
I stayed up all night to finish this book. Burden is a good writer, and she does an excellent job of writing about building a life in Tasmania, where she grew up. My only complaint is that all the publisher hype uses the word "alone", and while she moved on her own, she has parents and siblings who live really close to where she buys the house, so she was hardly on her own. Her family help her to get the house organized and to find workmen. However, all that does not diminish the fact that she h ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Hilary Burden is a high flyer living in London who feels the call of home, and returns to rural Tasmania to live near her family. Finding an old nuns home to buy and renovate, she buys some Alpacas and sets about to live the good life.

A bout of insomnia (so annoying on the night before New Years Eve) left me with four hours of tossing and turning, so I managed to get most of this book read overnight. It was a nice little book about her friendships with lots of new and interesting people, and a n
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A friend of mine lent me this book, saying "You should read it. It's about Lilydale!" Given we are approaching our own fifth Summer in this idyllic village, it was apt I read a book describing a very similar journey to which we ourselves have been undertaking. The easy-going and genuinely kind locals whom we now also call friends, the astoundingly breathtaking landscape and the ever changing and yet constant seasons, all lovingly portrayed in this beautifully written memoir. I will be returning ...more
Faye Barron
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book, about seven years of the author's own life, provides the reader with a good, relaxing reed.

Hilary is a successful, world encasing journalist - but in her mid-life craves something more. Returning to Tasmania, and starting a new life on a small farm, with an old home with an interesting history, paves the way for new experiences, new interests, and a quiet happiness.

The tale is interspersed with recipes (well worth keeping), and a good taste of living in Tasmania.

Thank you, Hilary!
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delightful memoir that tells the story of the author’s longing for more from life. She achieves this by swapping her professional, high-flying, globe-trotting career for life in a small community in rural Tasmania. The book, based on her journals, follows her experiences from the purchase of an old, run-down former convent to her becoming a valued member of the community she adopts. Her passion for growing her own produce and sharing the bounty with like-minded, newly-made friends leads to a r ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 stars. Initially the author made me envious of her ease in making friends for life. One on the job interview later or people met on a holiday, etc. But her views on life and the type life she is achieving resonated with me. It is what I am looking for and am hoping to achieve on my future, semi, self-sufficient, hobby, farmlet.
I have ordered this book for my brother and his wife who are about to move onto a small property in Tassie and live this life.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-copy
Thoroughly enjoyed every page, so glad I stumbled onto this book, and it just goes to show once more how, it's the simple things in life that really make all the difference. This is an honest glimpse into a life changing decision that Hilary Burden made to leave one life style, and embrace another on the other side of the world. She came to live in beautiful Tasmania, an island that I'm lucky enough to call home as well. ...more
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable story of the author's career and life in Tasmania. I was also a newcomer to Tasmania a few years ago so I related to Hilary's experiences. There a re a lot do delicious recipes included in the text and I am trying them all out - so far, the pasta sauce, lemonade, chicken curry and quiche. Read it while on holidays and it was east to pick up and put down without losing track of what was going on. ...more
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
A slow-paced book (this does match the storyline) which I enjoyed perusing but didn't adore. I do now want to own alpacas and start my own vegie box business, but I don't feel I could relate to the protagonist as well as others might. I copied out quite a few recipes to try later though. Not a bad biography at all. ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read about an escape from the rat-race to a more fulfilling life of gardening, championing local produce and savouring a slower pace of life valuing 'people' and 'place'.

Presumably all possible due to an absolute killing made on the London property market.....
Quite fancy going to Tasmania now!
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This book has completely shifted my city driven life and jolted my dream of moving to the country x I couldn't wait to finish my daily tasks so I could melt away with this book. I'm half thinking I'm going to read it again x
Helen Goltz
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just finished this book and loved it. I love the escapism of moving to the country and restoring a house (the Nun's house) and even though I'm not a 'foodie', I even enjoyed the recipes. A great escape. ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Not just because I know the area she describes well, but also because I am a journalist writing a book and understand how she evolves over time as a writer.
Jenny Hodges
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this and will reread it for the delight of sharing in the joy of procuring and producing perfect food for sharing and enjoying
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it

Nice book and an easy read.
Julie McAliece
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book I loved . Such a wonderful journey that Hilary Burden has been on. Tasmania is truly a beautiful state of ours and I was quite envious of her life. ❤️❤️❤️
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book and didn't want it to finish. Probably helped that I was able to relate to it. ...more
Jodie Sinclair
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved this so much, its my go to book when I need inspiring, or to slow down.
Jenny Sharp
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
very enjoyable
Sep 12, 2012 added it
Beautiful and inspiring with the addition of much loved recipes to try
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
A lovely read that inspires you to slow down, have real conversations and most importantly, get out into the garden more.
Susan Crowley
rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2017
Sally Clowes
rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2020
Rhondda Noble
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2012
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