Cover image for Snowball oranges : a winter's tale on a Spanish isle
Snowball oranges : a winter's tale on a Spanish isle
Kerr, Peter, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
226 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Originally published by Summersdale Publishers in 2000"--T.p. verso.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB370.O7 K47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



It's the stuff of dreams: A Scottish family gives up relative sanity and security to grow oranges for a living in a secluded mountain valley on the Mediterranean island of Majorca. But dreams, as everyone knows, have a nasty habit of not turning out quite as intended. Being greeted by a freak snowstorm is only the first of many surprising "experiences, " and it isn't long before they realize that the orange farm they've purchased is a bit of a lemon. However, laughter is the best medicine when confronted with consuming a local delicacy containing rats, the "live-chicken-down-a-chimney" technique of household maintenance, and attending a shotgun wedding. Their colorful Majorcan neighbors restore the family's faith in humanity, and help them adapt to a new and unexpectedly challenging life in this deceptively simple idyll of rural Spain. SNOWBALL ORANGES is hilarious and revealing, full of life and vivacity, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Majorca.

Author Notes

Peter Kerr lives with his family in Scotland

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The dream of Scotsman Kerr and his wife had been to own a farm on their vacation island, Majorca. Through the wild serendipity that sometimes visits those who are lost, they happened upon the orange farm of their dreams, charming, rustic, and for sale. It is December when they move in, and though the weather is nothing like what they would experience in Scotland, it is snowing on their newly acquired orange trees! Then the farm itself turns out to be something of a lemon, with failing mechanics, inadequate drains, and the peculiar responsibility of feeding the previous owner's dogs and cats. Fortunately, the majority of their neighbors are helpful and good-hearted, so by spring, the local attitude of "tranquilo" is no longer a foreign concept to the new landowners. Readers will relish Kerr's adept account of the agricultural and social customs of the island and generous insights into one couple's bold transplanting of their lives. --Danise Hoover

Library Journal Review

A Scotsman growing oranges on Majorca? Snow on the oranges in December? Yes, here is yet another life-changing semiautobiography from a northern European seeking the sun and a new take on life. Although this genre has grown thin, given the plethora of books that have appeared since Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, Kerr (Manana, Manana) manages to give us a lively spin on the difficulties and successes he and his family experience after they purchase a rundown orange grove on the Mediterranean island of Majorca. Kerr, his wife, and two sons had traveled to Majorca on holiday and fallen in love with the brilliant sun, rustic countryside, and friendly local population. On something of a whim, they decided they could transfer their Scottish farming skills to the hardscrabble life of orange-grove tending. It is worth noting that Kerr and his family have returned to Scotland since the publication of this book; not all dreams turn out as expected. This charming, cheerful book will appeal to anyone looking for a different take on Spain and Majorca. For large travel collections. Olga B. Wise, Hewlett-Packard Corp., Austin, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 "Se Vende"p. 1
2 Gas & Nunsp. 27
3 Shotgun Sundayp. 45
4 Orange Grove Angstp. 75
5 A Dog Called Dogp. 103
6 Nightmares for Christmasp. 127
7 The Flying Chimney Sweepp. 147
8 Citrus Sales, Tractor Trials & a Rodent Recipep. 179
9 Ole Hogmanayp. 201
Epilogue--Mananap. 221