Book Review: Apple Island Wife by Fiona Stocker

Final rating: 4 stars from me!

I dove into the pages of Apple Island Wife this weekend, hoping the memoirs of a woman making a new home for her family in rural Tanzania would distract me from our frigid Canadian winter. (It was adorable how she described how some individuals might consider Tanzania cold.)

This charming tale was a delightful telling of growth and discovery, stories of everyday life in a new setting, interspersed with droll humour. The account was amusing and educational (being from the North American corner of the world, there were some terms I was unfamiliar with!) While I enjoyed many of the aspects of the presentation, Fiona’s recounted insights into her husband’s interests (and her decided lack of interest in said pursuits) truly amused me – I too will never understand the appeal of a tractor pull or farm auction, no matter how many we attended as children.

Her colourful characterizations of the animals – pet, herd, and pest – as well as the lively description of her neighbours and the land were vividly well done. I could at once envision myself in the midst of the scenes she described. Wallabies, huntsman spiders, and snakes, oh my!

The chapters were not presented in a linear fashion. While I understood the general timeline as a whole, there was a part of me that wondered how old the children were, how many months or years had passed, or whether an incident happened before another if it was not explicitly presented in the writing.

It was relatable for any woman who has ever made a decision and questioned whether they were truly equipped for the change. She found the right balance in presenting how many of us struggle with wanting to be more than a mother or housewife and I was delighted with her term of domestic Chief Executive Officer. She acknowledge her strengths and her weakness with a balance of humility and humour.

Overall, this is a book that I highly recommend for a little glimpse into someone making a home for themselves in a strange-to-them environ. Settle in with a cuppa in a comfy chair – you’ll feel like your about to listen in while a close friend recounts amusing anecdotes of everyday life or the reminiscing of your favourite auntie. It was an intimate glimpse into the Stocker family’s venture into farm life and I, for one, cannot wait to read more.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the author and/or publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Published by Unbound Digital; Publication Date – December 4, 2018

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