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Mr Wigg

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  898 ratings  ·  185 reviews
A novel that celebrates the small things in life by a fresh Australian voice.

It's the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he'll see her again.

He spends his time w
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Hachette Australia (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Jülie ☼♄ 

Mr Wigg.

"The pot of water came to the boil. Mr Wigg lowered in a yellow peach with an egg spoon and counted out forty seconds before placing it in the bowl of iced water. He slipped off its skin in one movement, throwing it in the bucket for the chooks, like a crumpled coat. He repeated the process until lines of naked peaches covered the bench, glistening and vulnerable as newborns."


What a beautiful voice this story has, I found myself re-reading passages just to hear them all over again
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a beautiful and well written book with a lot of fascinating information about many things. I very much enjoyed all the references to life in the 1970's and the cooking details were absolutely delicious. Occasionally I felt there was too much information, especially about the orchard and I had a sense of being lectured. Also a slight sense of boredom. In the end I think it was all a little too bland and not really my cup of tea, although I do see how many people can find it a five star re ...more
Dale Harcombe
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the first paragraph I fell in love with this gentle book. Set in 1971 it tells of Mr Wigg, who lives on the remnant of what was his family farm. His wife died almost twelve months earlier but she is never far from his thoughts and memories. Neither is his daughter who lives in the city and who he rarely sees after an estrangement that saw her leave home many years before. He does see his son but that in itself carries a few problems as his son wants him Mr Wigg to give up his orchard and mo ...more
Mr Wigg was living alone now; his wife had passed away almost a year ago, and he missed her daily. He loved his orchard with all his fruit trees that he had cultivated over the years – peaches, nectarines, apricots, oranges, persimmons and more. He tended to them daily; his wife’s beloved rose garden wasn’t looking as lovely as it had when she’d been alive – the rose garden had been his wife’s domain, the orchard his. Now he found he was busy from dawn to dusk as there was always something to do ...more
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mr Wigg is the first novel by Australian author, Inga Simpson. Beginning in the summer of 1970-71, it recounts a year in the life of a recently widowed elderly farmer, Mr Wigg. With his son forced to sell the family’s wheat farm, Mr Wigg retains the farmhouse, his wife’s rose garden, the vegetable patch and the orchard he has maintained throughout his married life. And despite urging by his son, he is determined to resist moving into town.

Although he misses his wife terribly, Mr Wigg’s life goe
This is a gorgeous story, gentle and moving, taking us through the cycles of flowering and fruiting in Mr Wigg’s orchard. Mr Wigg is a retired farmer who has recently lost his wife and misses her every day. His son and wife and two young children live next door on the farm that has belonged to the Wiggs for generations, originally as part of a much larger property, but now much diminished, with the last parcel about to be sold to a wine maker. Mr Wigg is sad about this because not only will it b ...more
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was totally captivated by this gentle, charming account of a year in the life of Mr Wigg, set in the summer of 1971 in New South Wales. Mr Wigg is an old man in his 80s, whose wife has recently died. He lives on what remains of the family farm, where his passion is for his orchard, his life’s work. In a purely practical sense the orchard has produced – and still does produce – food for his family, but it means more than that to him. He has an almost mystical relationship with the trees, which ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Words fail me but surely this will become a new Australian classic.
A tale to touch the hearts of most anyone with a hint of rural upbringing. A story of our grandfathers.
No roller-coasters, no sensationalism. No shock factor or twists.
Just… Amazing.
The best book I've read all year, because it connected on so many levels.
Michael Livingston
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
A quiet, simple story about an old man and his orchard. The plot is minimal - some reflections on family - but the writing about gardening, cooking and the outdoors is lovely.
John Purcell
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book that comes to mind on having finished Inga Simpson’s Mr Wigg is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. They share nothing much in common; Mr Wigg is set in country Australia in 1970, is about a man at the end of his long life, and the most contentious issue touched on is the sacking of Bill Lawry as captain of the Australian cricket team. But even so, that warm feeling that comes from having read something that has strengthened or even reawakened a sense of what is right and good about the ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A deceptively simple story told with great pathos. Anybody who has elderly parents or a much loved grandparent will be touched by Mr Wigg and his day to day life. Sometimes I found myself quietly chuckling; other times I had to put the book away because I was weeping and couldn't stop. I finished the novel three days ago, but not a day has gone past since when I haven't thought of him. Well done, Inga Simpson. I look forward to reading what you come up with next. ...more
What a charming, gentle story. Organic, earthy and nurturing.
The front cover reads, "a novel that celebrates the small things in life", and that is does.
Set in 1971, Mr Wigg has grown up on the land; a family of orchardists, his farm is the last parcel of what once was a much larger area belonging to the Wigg family, dating back to the goldrush era.
Mr Wigg is now a very old man. His wife has died, he has raised two children - a daughter, who he is regrettably estranged and a son, who has sold u
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very gentle, charming book set in NSW in 1971. Dear old Mr Wigg lives on what is left of the family farm and missing his wife dearly after she died the year before. The book poetically describes his day to day life, sometime reminiscing on the past and how things came to be. This book is all about making you appreciate the small things in life, which it does do beautifully.
Cel Jel
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A slow paced novel telling the story through the seasons and through the garden of a retired farmer. I enjoyed reading this book, enjoying the relaxed reflection on ageing and how to keep going when your life partner is lost.
I highly recommend this book if you want to revisit a quieter gentler time of life, that had no internet.
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, gorgeous gentle book, steady yet insightful.
Kathy Reid
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
For anyone in their 40s who had an insprational grandparent when they grew up in Australia, you should read this book. It is not fast paced, there are no saucy scenes or car chases. Just the simple life of an ordinary but at the same time extraordinary human being who lived on the land and adored his grandchildren. God bless you Pop, your generation knew how to make much of not a lot.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me of ‘A Man Called Ove’ and ‘The Promised Seed’. A novel focusing on the simple, more important things in life. The slower more honoured and appreciated rituals that are being forgotten in our fast paced modern chase for the material and money hungry economy. Give me a garden, veggies and chooks over any material life!!! Mr Wigg was a character you could liken to your own grandfather or old neighbour. He was so loveable!! A tale of family ties woven into the seasons of fruit ...more
Katherine Howell
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Moving, heartfelt, beautifully written.
My Reading Days
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The simplicity is what makes it so beautiful
Fred  Kingham
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At times while reading this I felt I was standing still in time, the slow pace of the book, the detail, no rushing, engulfed me entirely.
Liz Hope
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So sweet. Big issues handled so delicately. I loved it!
Dancey Gordon
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. And at the right time.
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garden-stuff
I loved reading Mr Wigg, this is my kind of book. A beautiful, sweet and gentle story that reminds me partly of my Dad, my childhood and my love of gardening.
Brett Wood
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simpson brings the characters to life, such a beautiful story.
Carolyn Matheson
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. Just lovely. ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this little, sweet, introspective story of a married man outliving his wife and his will to keep going. The side story of the fruit in his orchard is so interesting. Well done.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Walker
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mr Wigg is an enchanting new novel by Queensland author, Inga Simpson. Set in 1971, the story takes place on Mr Wigg’s farm in South-West NSW. Here he grows a range of stone fruit, listens to the cricket on the radio, bakes with his grandchildren, reminisces about his life and works hard on a secret project.
‘Mr Wigg had squandered his life’ reads the first line of the book. And for some it might seem so. He has led a quiet life on the farm with his wife, Mrs Wigg, who died a few years ago. He h
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr Wigg is another mesmerising piece by one of my favourites Inga Simpson. Mr Wigg lives along on his farm after the passing of his wife. His son wants him to move to town where he has less to look after in his older days but Mr Wigg loves his fruit trees and his chooks and is hesitant to leave. He is happy working in the garden, tinkering in the shed, listening to the cricket and baking with his grandchildren. What follows is a beautiful story which is an ode to the simple life and an almost by ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lovely. Heartwarming. Comfy. The kind of book that's an easy handsell to a certain demographic

For me, the book really shines in its nature writing and descriptions of life minutiae - really good stuff. The cricket bits and the kids didn't work for me but I could imagine they would be hits with other readers.

Based on other goodreads reviews I was expecting more - something almost transcendent? Which is probably unfair but that's what overly positive reviews do - but if you come to Mr Wigg seekin
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A novelist and nature writer, her work explores our relationship with the natural world.

Inga grew up in central west NSW, and has lived in Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. She is now based on the far south coast of NSW.

UNDERSTORY: a life with trees (2017), Inga's first book-length work of nature writing, was short

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