I picked up this book a few months ago because I love Susan Branch's art and I wanted to read about her time in England.
I am so glad I did.
On Goodreads I gave it a 5 star review and said I could only describe it as "delightful".
It really is delightful.
The book is basically her travel diary for a trip that she and her husband Joe took to England in May and June of 2012 where she fell in love with the English Countryside.
But first the book begins with another kind of love story- she tells us how she and Joe met and how their love story began.
This is the blurb from Amazon:
"A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside, part love story, part travel guide, is a hand-written and watercolored personal travel journal of Susan's six-day transatlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary 2 and two-month ramble through the back roads of rural England.There are over three hundred photos, countless illustrations, wonderful quotes, recipes, a book list, a movie list, watercolored maps and so much more. Travel with Susan as she makes her way through wildflower hedgerows to visit the homes and gardens of her literary and artistic heroes including Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen. It's a travel guide that will help you with your own trip, lovely for the armchair traveler because Susan really does take you there, and it's perfect for all Downton Abbey anglophiles. When you are finished, go to Susan's website where there is an interactive Appendix to the book .... you can experience driving across the Dales with Susan's own videos and find links to everything she writes about, the cottages and gardens you want to see yourself."
My love of Susan Branch, Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter, and the idea of a trip to England in my head were all deciding factors when buying this book.
I was going to get it from the library but they didn't have a copy so I went back and forth on whether to put out the money for it or not. I am so happy I bought my own copy. It was worth every penny.
I couldn't put it down from the start.
Every page was a joy to look at and to read.
Here is a look at some of my favorite pages from the book:
One of the first pages...
I knew the second I saw those little lambs that I was going to love this book.
Aren't they just precious?
The entire book is done in a way that makes you feel like you are reading a friend's handwritten diary.
I just love her beautiful handwriting.
Susan's artwork is intermingled with her trip photographs throughout the whole book.
Look! You can see Chatsworth House on the page below. It played the role of Pemberley in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.
I loved reading about their visit to Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm.
And their visit to Chawton, home of Jane Austen.
I have loved Susan Branch's work since the first moment I saw it and this book takes it to another level for me.
I loved every page of this book and have read the entire thing 3 times since buying it in January.
(I love that little bubble bath at the top of the page on the left!)
I highly recommend this book.
It is wonderful, beautiful, informative, and so sweet and charming.
You will love it!
You can buy it here in Susan's shop.
It can also be found at most book stores and Amazon.
Check out Susan Branch's wonderful website as well. It is always fun and inspiring and full of beautiful images! You can find it here.