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Carol Drinkwater - Author

About the Author

Carol Drinkwater was our Guest Editor in May 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small. She is also the author of over twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her quartet of memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France have sold over a million copies worldwide and her solo journey round the Mediterranean in search of the Olive tree's mythical secrets inspired a five-part documentary film series, The Olive Route. Carol lives in the south of France where she is writing her next novel.

Author Photo © Michel Noll

Carol Drinkwater is our Putting Authors in the Picture feature for November 2018. Click here to read more about her author journey on our blog.

Featured books by Carol Drinkwater

An Act of Love

An Act of Love

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/04/2021

A dramatic and enthralling relationship tale that captures emotion and takes you on a journey through the Second World War. When Sara and her parents flee their homeland taking refuge in the French Alps, the full impact of the Nazi oppression edges ever closer. Inspired by her visit to a small museum in the Lower Alps Carol Drinkwater has created the most captivating story of young love, and the courage needed to face the most devastating of times. She has the ability to focus on the things that make us human, to create a link that alters the focus from watching, to actually feeling the events that take place. A balance is created between the intimate moments of relationships and how they sit within the wider fields of battle during the horror of war. This is ultimately as much a story about Sara’s own relationship with, and understanding of herself as it is with the man she falls in love with. The ending came with beautiful words and tears welling up in my eyes, I just had to include this as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month. An Act of Love will encourage emotions to dip and soar as it gives hope even in the darkness. The LoveReading LitFest invited Carol to the festival to talk about An Act of Love.   You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Carol in conversation with Paul Blezard and find out why everyone should read this book.   Check out a preview of the event here

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The House on the Edge of the Cliff

The House on the Edge of the Cliff

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/05/2019

A striking and compelling family drama where the past takes a ferocious bite into the present. The House on the Edge of the Cliff explores relationships, how they can alter, move with fluidity, ever-changing almost without realisation. The house in question sits on the edge of a cliff in France, a character in its own right, a sanctuary, utterly bewitching, and yet full of history, of memories. When Grace was 16 an event occurred which has affected and remained with her ever since, when the past suddenly rears its head, danger beckons. We first meet Grace in the present and within the first few pages, I became as hooked as a hooked thing can be. Heightened, in fact, frantic emotions dance across the page and left me feeling breathless. Time then begins a slide backwards, explaining just enough, setting more questions and encouraging more thoughts to flow. Carol Drinkwater writes with captivating eloquence, I find her books so wonderfully readable, I just slip down into the welcoming pages and enjoy. Full of secrets, tense moments, gorgeous descriptions, and emotional interplay, The House on the Edge of the Cliff is a truly beautiful read and one of my picks of the month.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/06/2017

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | July 2017 eBook of the Month. A mesmerising, haunting, and extraordinarily relevant yet beautifully evocative read. Kurtiz arrives in Paris after a sighting of her missing daughter, as the tale begins to unfurl, humanity at its very best and worst is revealed in several time frames. There is a slight departure in tone from previous novels, however the deep emotion and captivating writing is still reassuringly in evidence for existing fans. Carol Drinkwater explores thoughts and feelings during and after war, and immediately after an act of terrorism, her empathy shines a light on the darkness of the story. The movement in time allows more information to slot into place and the relationships between the characters began to connect like lightening strikes in my mind. ‘The Lost Girl’ is a story about relationships, family, and love during heartbreak, doubt and apprehension, yet rather than oppressive, I found an entirely captivating and beautiful read awaited. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Forgotten Summer

The Forgotten Summer

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/09/2016

Seductively beautiful and evocative writing ensures ‘The Forgotten Summer’ is hard to put down. A vineyard in France holds the key to secrets and lies that have been hidden in history. 48 year old Jane finds herself torn, she is desperate for the truth, yet afraid of what she might discover as she explores the mystery surrounding her husband’s family. There were times when the vivid descriptions of the vineyard almost planted me in the fertile soil, allowing an emotional connection with the surroundings. The story seeps under your skin, there is a gentleness to the writing, interspersed with occasionally intense, slicing moments. As you read, you may have your suspicions, in fact Carol Drinkwater encourages your thoughts to explore further afield, helping you to empathise with Jane. Set aside some quality reading time as this is a lovely and entirely captivating, richly bittersweet tale. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
A Simple Act of Kindness

A Simple Act of Kindness

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Ebook Release Date: 22/09/2015

After a devastating car accident, Carole escapes from an oppressive marriage in England to begin again in rural France. Yet she is haunted by the knowledge that Paul, her husband, has tracked her down before and will do his best to do it again…  Afraid to share her fears with her new neighbours, Carole nonetheless finds herself drawn to a local farmer, who helps her start to create a new and independent life. But then she learns that Paul is on her trail and closing fast…  A Simple Act of Kindness is a story of obsessive love and the damage it can do. A powerful tale from the bestselling author of The Olive Farm and The Girl in Room Fourteen. 

Hotel Paradise

Hotel Paradise

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Ebook Release Date: 04/06/2015

Genevieve Bowles is an award-winning songwriter who visits the south of France to attend the Cannes film festival. The day after the renowned festival's closing ceremony, Genevieve is invited to visit the newly-refurbished Hotel Paradise. Genevieve knows the hotel well – in fact, her past life there has haunted her for over a decade... Twelve years earlier, two travellers have met in Paris. Genevieve dreams of becoming a famous songwriter, while Paul is determined to be a professional photographer. Full of optimism, they hitch south to the Riviera where they answer an advertisement for live-in help at the Hotel Paradise, located on an island just off the French coast. There the young couple are seduced by the tranquility and magical beauty of the hotel and its setting. But the island has a darker side, with a history of bloodshed that fills Genevieve with foreboding. When a stranger arrives who threatens her future with Paul, Genevieve senses that events are about to spin out of control …

The Girl in Room Fourteen

The Girl in Room Fourteen

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Ebook Release Date: 15/09/2013

Striking, raven-haired Cecile produces the finest lemons on the Riviera. Her ice creams, pies, lemonades, sold on her stall at the internationally famous Cannes market, are as renowned as the Mediterranean city itself. Tourists travel from everywhere to meet her.But Cecile is a woman who no one draws close to, a woman with a secret.Cecile, when she was nineteen and a shy student, travelled south to a lemon festival on the borders of Italy and France. She was intending to let her hair down, to enjoy two crazy weeks of fun. She was not anticipating the enigmatic Italian who offered her a future beyond her wildest dreams. But at what cost?The Girl in Room Fourteen is a heartrending love story set on the warm shores of the Mediterranean.

The Olive Harvest

The Olive Harvest

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

This is the third of Carol’s books documenting her idyllic life in the South of France but despite the title speaking of plenty and abundance, there was no harvest, no husband and no easy life. I admire this woman; with stoic determination and a certain acceptance of life, she soldiers on and writes about it honestly and warmly. A lovely book.  The Olive Farm series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm

eBooks of the Month
The Olive Farm

The Olive Farm

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

A beautiful tale of a new life in France; an account of the highs and lows of restoring an olive farm, and the colourful characters met with in a typical Provencal village.  It'll make you want to sell up and escape the UK for a sun-drenched life on the continent. Books in The Olive Farm Series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Return to the Olive Farm

Return to the Olive Farm

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2011

I found this the most absorbing of Carol Drinkwater’s reports from her Provence Olive Farm, a sink or swim account of attempting to free the farm and its inhabitants from the dangerous chemicals needed to bring an Olive crop to fruition, the culprit  - the olive fly who can devastate unprotected crops. It is the bees that point the way to the dangers, dying in their thousands, they lead the author on a quest to determine her future, stay or go, fight or give in. An absorbing read that reveals the state of organics in France, the stifling bureaucracy that growers have to deal with and behind the political rhetoric how little help to struggling organic growers is available.  The Olive Farm series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm   Like for Like Reading:Je T’Aime à La Folie, Michael WrightInstructions for Visitors: Life & Love in a French Town, Helen Stevenson

eBooks of the Month
Suffragette

Suffragette

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2011

It's 1909. Dollie is swept up in the thrill of the campaign for Votes for Women. Against her guardian's wishes, she marches against Parliament with Emmeline Pankhurst and her fellow suffragettes. But as the movement turns violent, women are imprisoned and endangered their lives with hunger strikes.

Return to the Olive Farm: Unabridged Audiobook

Return to the Olive Farm: Unabridged Audiobook

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 20/05/2010

  This is an unabridged audiobook title. Continuing the story of Carol Drinkwater’s beloved Olive Farm. After returning from 18 months travelling around the Mediterranean Carol discovers that her dream of running an organic farm is threatened by nature and by the demands of market forces. Here she tells of the ups and downs her, seemingly idyllic, life throws her way. Always a joy to read and despite the challenges she still makes you want to run off and find your own ramshackle farm to turn around.   This is an Unabridged audiobook title, which includes every word that you would otherwise find in the printed edition. Don’t forget, if the story was meant to be shorter the author would have written less! Click here to take a peek at our selection of Unabridged audiobooks.

1900: A Brand-new Century A London Girl's Diary, 1899-1900

1900: A Brand-new Century A London Girl's Diary, 1899-1900

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2010

The diary of Flora Bonnington, London 1899-1900: 'A day slips away like sand in a sand glass and so we are caught up in this inevitable passage towards 1900. I bought a journal... it will record my journey into the new century. I shall call it 'Twentieth Century Girl' for that is what I intend to be'.

The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/06/2009

If you have followed Carol through her trials and tribulations of running her olive farm then this is a must.  Newcomers will find her enthusiasm for her subject irresistible.  Now she knows that new approaches to farming are needed and so she travels through France, Spain, Italy and North Africa to seek the best solutions.  The Olive Farm series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm

eBooks of the Month
The Hunger : An Irish Girl's Diary, 1845-1847

The Hunger : An Irish Girl's Diary, 1845-1847

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2008

It's 1845 and blight has destroyed the precious potato crop leaving Ireland starving. Phyllis works hard to support her struggling family, but when her mother's health deteriorates she sets off in search of her rebel brother and is soon swept up in the fight for a free and fair Ireland...

The Olive Route : A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean

The Olive Route : A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/06/2007

Fourth volume in the bestselling olive series by writer and actress Carol Drinkwater.   Transporting readers across the olive's ancient paths, celebrating its venerable past, tracking trade routes, unearthing unlikely stories, encountering peoples of today and bygone times, Carol comes full circle, back to her farm in the sun-baked Provencal hills.  The Olive Farm series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm

eBooks of the Month
The Olive Season

The Olive Season

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2006

Moving on from The Olive Farm, The Olive Season sees Carol and Michel taking on an entirely new challenge: pregnancy.  As ever, nothing goes entirely to plan and Carol writes wonderfully of her struggles and triumphs on her cherished olive farm.   The Olive Farm series: 1. The Olive Farm2. The Olive Season3. The Olive Harvest4. The Olive Route5. The Olive Tree6. Return to the Olive Farm

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Carol Drinkwater

An Act of Love

An Act of Love

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 29/04/2021

An Act of Love by Carol Drinkwater

The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2018

'A story to savour, complete with wonderful settings stretching from Paris to the glorious countryside of southern France' Dinah Jefferies A LOVEREADING BOOK OF THE YEAR Since her teenage daughter went missing four years ago, Kurtiz Ross has blamed and isolated herself. Until, out of the blue, Lizzie is sighted in Paris. But within hours of her arrival, Kurtiz sees the City of Light plunged into terror. Amid the fear and chaos, a hand reaches out. A sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter. The other woman's kindness - and her stories of her own love and loss in post-war Provence - shine unexpected light into the shadows. The night may hold the answers to a mystery - but dare Kurtiz believe it could also bring a miracle? 'A gripping tale' Sunday Post 'Mesmerising, haunting and extraordinarily relevant' Lovereading 'An unforgettable journey of family, romance, regret and renewal' The Gloss 'The perfect holiday read that manages to keep you guessing the whole way through' Living France

My Story: Suffragette (centenary edition)

My Story: Suffragette (centenary edition)

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2018

18th June, 1910 We marched from the Embankment to the Albert Hall. It was a glorious day. The sun shone warmly. Everyone was in good spirits. There were aristocrats, artists, even my mother looked happy. She who has been so opposed to my work with the WSPU. More than 10,000 people had rallied and there were dozens of bands playing. It was quite incredible. We waved banners, carried flowers, sang along with the tunes. Hundreds who have been imprisoned for our Cause marched together in a powerful band. It was all very rousing of spirit. I felt proud to be a woman, proud to be alive, proud to be a part of a movement that is fighting to make a difference.

Complete Olive Series Collection

Complete Olive Series Collection

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/08/2013

The bestselling Olive Farm series by writer and actress Carol Drinkwater, now available as a complete ebook collection.Carol Drinkwater's much-loved Olive Farm memoirs, THE OLIVE FARM, THE OLIVE HARVEST, THE OLIVE ROUTE, THE OLIVE SEASON, THE OLIVE TREE and RETURN TO THE OLIVE FARM chart the adventures of Carol and her husband Michel on their Provencal Olive farm in the south of France.THE COMPLETE OLIVE SERIES COLLECTION includes all six books in Carol's vibrant and heartwarming series, from the humble beginnings of the organic olive farm and the highs and lows of life in provincial France; to Carol's sixteen month journey across the Mediterranean in search of the routes that olive growing has taken over the centuries; and back again to France for more life and love, olive oil and beehives at the farm in Provence.

Nowhere to Run

Nowhere to Run

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2012

Set in the south of France during WWII. A young girl gets involved in helping Jewish children escape to safety abroad.

The Olive Season

The Olive Season

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/02/2012

I scan the terraces, planted with row upon row of ancient olive trees. It is April, late spring. Here in the hills behind the Cote d'Azur the olive groves are delicately blossomed, with their tiny, white-forked flowers. Beyond them, perched halfway up the slope of the hill, our belle epoque villa comes into view. Abounding in balustrade terraces, nestling among cedars and palms, facing out at a south-westerly angle, overlooking the bay of Cannes towards the sun-kissed Mediterranean, there it is, Appassionata, awaiting us... THE OLIVE FARM told how Carol Drinkwater and partner Michel fell in love with and bought an abandoned Provencal olive farm. Now, in THE OLIVE SEASON, Carol is pregnant and their ever-loyal gardener is leaving to oversee the marriage of his son. Often unassisted, and with new challenges to face, Carol takes on the bulk of the farm work alone. Water is, as ever, a costly problem, and she goes in search of a diviner who promises almost magical results. But, as the harvest season approaches, dramatic events cast dark shadows of their olive farm.

My Story: Suffragette

My Story: Suffragette

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2011

18th June, 1910 We marched from the Embankment to the Albert Hall. It was a glorious day. The sun shone warmly. Everyone was in good spirits. There were aristocrats, artists, even my mother looked happy. She who has been so opposed to my work with the WSPU. More than 10,000 people had rallied and there were dozens of bands playing. It was quite incredible. We waved banners, carried flowers, sang along with the tunes. Hundreds who have been imprisoned for our Cause marched together in a powerful band. It was all very rousing of spirit. I felt proud to be a woman, proud to be alive, proud to be a part of a movement that is fighting to make a difference.

The Olive Harvest

The Olive Harvest

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2006

The stars shimmer like spilled handfuls of glitter. The day is beginning to rise with a faint mist. As I turn my head, ghostly halos, auras of light, appear and disappear ... The silence is truly awesome. Not a bird, not a whisper of wind, not a breath of life. Only the two of us, a most implausible pair, standing shoulder to shoulder gazing upon an awakening heaven Returning to their home after an extended absence Carol and her husband Michel are looking forward to summer together on the farm. A shocking blow leaves Carol alone and the future is uncertain. Feeling isolated and with no olives to harvest, Carol ventures beyond the farm to explore other aspects of Provencal life - from hunting to bee-keeping, the ancient language to the ever-present demands of family and friends. And ultimately, Provence's generous diversity - and Carol's own persistence in sharing it with those she loves - paves a path to joy.

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line

Author: Carol Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2001

Crossing the Line by Carol Drinkwater

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