‘Authentic and affecting, Helen shines a light on the women who stitch together the fabric of our rural communities.’ – Sarah Langford
‘Enchanting, engrossing and tenacious’ -The Bookseller
‘Lovely, warm and real, it made me cry and cook and think. A beautiful book.’ – Ella Risbridger
A portrait of life at Helen Rebanks’ Lake District farmhouse that beautifully captures the unsung work of keeping a home and raising a family.
As dawn breaks on the farm, Helen Rebanks makes a mug of tea, relishing the few minutes of quiet before the house stirs. Within the hour the sounds of her husband, James, and their four children will fill the kitchen. There are also six sheepdogs, two ponies, 20 chickens, 50 cattle and 500 sheep to care for. Helen is a farmer’s wife. Hers is a story that is rarely told, despite being one we think we know.
Weaving past and present, Helen shares the days that have shaped her. This is the truth of those days: from steering the family through the Beast from the East and the local authority planning committee, to finding the quiet strength to keep going, when supper is yet to be started, another delivery man has assumed he needs to speak to the ‘man of the house’, and she would rather punch a cushion than plump it.
This beautifully-illustrated memoir, which takes place across one day at the farm, offers a chance to think about where our food comes from and who puts it on the table. Helen’s recipes, lists and gentle wisdom helps us to get through our days, whatever they throw at us.
Title: The Farmer’s Wife: ‘True, unflinching, powerful, lyrical’ Kate Mosse
Author: Rebanks, Helen
Publication date: 31/08/2023
Publisher: ALLEN & UNWIN