Horatio Clare’s parents fall in love with a place before his birth. The place was a remote sheep farm in Wales far away from their forging lives as young professionals in London. It was high on a mountain farm, nearly impassable in winter. Usually, the neighbors were unused to the foreigners. But the breathtaking setting of farm changed the life of Jenny and Robert (Clare’s parents).
This is the story from a child’s view who dreams of an alternative life. Clare’s parents thought of spending weekends and holidays up a mountain leaving a middle-class life in London. Therefore they bought a sheep farm in the Welsh hills. A conflict took place between his parents due to this farm because his father didn’t want to live there and his mother didn’t want to leave. So, finally, she permanently moved to the farm with her 2 young sons.
Clare has cleverly structured the portrait of a displaced childhood on an isolated hillside from his experience. The wonderful “evocative existence” of childhood on a hill farm and the real compromises and poverty both are shown in this book. An indeterminate social position is mentioned here that is English but Welsh, posh but poor, urban but rural.
Clare has included a revisit to the exciting moments of this life. Such as watching a newborn lamb covered in amniotic fluid. Then the determined call of cuckoo – a bird that he considered to be the symbol of being out of place. The smallest things such as colors and textures that are remarkable to a child’s memory are mentioned in this book.
Clare has discussed a few moments deeply such as the family of mice that reside behind the bulges in the wallpaper in his bedroom. The insider and outsider landscapes are mentioned in this book. Clare’s mother was an outsider, therefore; she was unable to manage the remote farm.
This charming book describes the memories of the moments spent on that hill farm in a beautiful but challenging manner.