What Da Cover Says: In the wake of a traumatic lock-down, Nancy Campbell buys an old caravan and drives it into a strip of neglected woodland between a canal and railway. It is the first home she has ever owned. It will not move again.
As summer begins, Nancy embraces the challenge of how to live well in a space in which possessions and emotions often threaten to tumble. And as illness and uncertainty loom once more, it is this anchored van that will bring her solace and hope.
What I Says: This was wonderful, a memoir that is honest and intimate, Campbell shares things on these pages that I think is incredibly brave of her. Campbell has a very tough lock-down and as a way of finding her place in life again she buys a caravan and with the help of the mighty, very lovable/annoying Sven, she parks up in a neglected wood alongside a canal. Here she meets a wonderful collection of people happy in the life they are living and it is them that help her find her place.
The book is written as diary entries from June to September, with a section at the front explaining what came before and why Campbell was in a caravan. Like a proper diary you get to read the writer’s opinions on whatever is current that day or events happening in the writer’s life, you get little titbits about things she sees, a snail undulating across the window or a new plant that has started growing and Campbell shares her huge knowledge of all things and fantastic writing to almost teach the reader something new every day…sticking with the snail as an example I now know how they feed and why they don’t go in a straight line….turns out they ain’t the drunkest animal on the planet. The community of people she meets are wonderful, they take her in and treat her as one of their own, which works well as the further into the book you go the more you start to care for Campbell, you really appreciate how they come to her aid again and again.
If the lock-down was tough then the caravan was in direct competition to make things as tough as possible, disaster after disaster really started to affect Campbell’s mental health and it was Sven that steps in to save her life. A very knowledgeable man I learnt loads from him too. Campbell is such an observant person and she shares what she sees and there is a lot she sees that most people would miss. She also shares her love of books and a few more have been added to my tbr list.
I have enjoyed reading and learning with Campbell and with how the book ends I am wondering if there will be a second season in the caravan as I’d love to hear about how all the plants are doing and how the gang are getting on. Great stuff!