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The Land Where Lemons Grow


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A delightful book about Italy's unexpected history, told through its citrus fruits

About the Author

Helena Attlee is the author of four books about Italian gardens, and others on the cultural history of gardens around the world. Helena is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has worked in Italy for nearly 30 years.


Helena Attlee's writing in The Land Where Lemons Grow is so sharp and evocative that she could have been writing about potatoes in Plymouth: She'd still have had me gripped. Ms. Attlee has that rare gift of being able to know an inordinate amount about a subject and yet wear her knowledge so lightly that the tone is anecdotal, not academic. It's a big thing, to pull off such lightness. Through the citrus groves and scented gardens of Italy, she weaves in and out of history and horticulture, fusing them together with stories and surprises, romance and recipes, tastings and travelogues. I loved it
*Yotam Ottolenghi*

Thrillingly sensual, and zesty in every sense, Helena Attlee is the best of companions as she leads us through sundrenched citrus groves and in and out of history. A book full of surprises, with many curiosities, stories and recipes on the way
*Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel*

Inspired and inspiring, in prose as sharp as the fruit it celebrates
*David Wheeler, editor of Hortus*

This is the first among my books of the year. Every page of Attlee's subtle fusion of history and horticulture made me feel that it's time to pack the bags again for Italy
*Literary Review*

4 stars. Attlee, who knows and loves Italy and the Italians, takes the reader through the country's scented gardens with her sharp descriptions, pertinent stories and quotes and intriguing recipes. I was there with her
*Sunday Telegraph*

Fascinating . . . A distinguished garden writer, Attlee fell under the spell of citrus over ten years ago and the book, like the eleventh labour of Hercules to steal the golden fruit of the Hesperides, is the result. She writes with great lucidity, charm and gentle humour, and wears her considerable learning lightly . . . Helena Attlee's elegant, absorbing prose and sure-footed ability to combine the academic with the anecdotal, make The Land Where Lemons Grow a welcome addition to the library of citrologists and Italophiles alike
*The Times Literary Supplement*

A paradise of citrus is how I always think of Italy too: a place where ice-cold limoncello is sipped from tiny glasses on piazzas, and everything from ricotta cake to osso bucco is enlivened with zest. What a joy, therefore, to read Helena Attlee's The Land Where Lemons Grow, which tells the story of Italy through its citrus fruit

Truly fascinating . . . For many years, Attlee has been collecting evidence for a story of citrus trees in Italy. The result, The Land Where Lemons Grow, is remarkable, excellently produced and essential for all lovers of Italy, their summer libraries and out-of-season itineraries . . . Attlee's book is unmissable for anyone intrigued by the relation between humans' travel, greed and ingenuity and the spread of the plants that we eat, smell and drink
*Financial Times*

'It would be a treat to find The Land Where Lemons Grow under the tree'
*Telegraph, Books of the Year*

'It turned out to be the book I pressed on friends more than any other this year. If they were bemused, I hope they remained to be charmed. I read it randomly a few pages at a time until there were no pages I hadn't read twice. It was my respite from purposive reading.'
*TLS, Books of the Year*

A beautifully written book, infused with the bittersweet scent of citrus fruits and the flavour of Italy

No matter how lovely your holiday destination, this book will make you yearn to be in Italy...An absolute joy
*Daily Mail*

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