Allen & Unwin
When seasoned journalist Carol Altmann and her partner Deb seek a tree-change, they decide to leave their house in Adelaide for an idyllic five acre hobby farm in Neika, Tasmania ‘a captivating place with an enchanting name’. They soon realise that ‘hobby’ and ‘farming’ don’t go together as easily as they had hoped. Altmann aptly depicts life in Tasmania before it was a trendy place to live and introduces us to a number of colourful characters, both human and animal. Between catching unruly ducks, hoodwinking relentless bush rats, and getting butted in the head by a goat who thinks she’s a dog â€“ there’s little time to relax. The best aspect of Altmann’s narrative is the balance she strikes between exasperation and wit when delivering her descriptions of farm life â€“ a balance that so many books of this genre lack. Four Seasons with a Grumpy Goat had me laughing so loud in a cafe that a fellow patron inquired after what I was reading. An amusing account of the trials and joys of leaving the rat race, this memoir is definitely a worthwhile read.