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Synopsis

Before Horatio Clare was born, his parents fell in love with a place -- a remote sheep farm in Wales, physically and in every other way far from the lives they were forging as young professionals in London. The farm was high up a mountain, nearly impassable in winter. The neighbors were surly, or perhaps just unused to foreigners. But the setting was breathtaking, and soon it changed Jenny's and Robert's lives. What began as the somewhat conventional dream of a young, ambitious couple from London looking for a weekend home quickly became a different vision. Horatio's mother, romantic and tenacious, found it impossible to leave the fierce and beautiful land. She abandoned her job, her social world, and eventually her marriage to raise her two sons in the company of a herd of sheep, a few dogs, and the badgers, foxes, and mice who had prior claim to her new world. While other boys were going to films and listening to rock music, Horatio was weaning ewes and watching weather and surviving the furor of irascible neighbors. His childhood was marked by wonder and joy, and it is that wonderment that he bestows upon the reader as he recounts the story of the ancient, sometimes brutal, way of life on a hill farm. This wise book is a moving tribute to his mother, both beautiful and brave.

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