Willams and Breen, husband and wife, decide to leave the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and emigrate back to the land of Williams' parents and Breen's ancestors. They intend to support themselves by writing and painting, respectively, living in the cottage of Christine's great- grandfather on a farm that will let them garden and keep livestock to provide for themselves. This journal, with accounts by both interspersed, details their struggles to get a garden going despite continual rain, the new knowledge they gained, both practical (killing chickens) as well as informative (Irish lore and legend) and the joys of new-found friends. The first year is a bleak one but despite the hardships, they never regret their decision.
Later books When Summer's in the Meadow ('89), The Pipes are Calling: Our Jaunts Through Ireland ('90), The Luck of the Irish: Our Life in County Clare ('95) are more positive in regard to the couple's living situation, though they must alter their goals of self-suficiency.
Reviewed by ch, 12/97. Other reviews by ch.