Apple Island Wife: Slow Living in Tasmania – Fiona Stocker


What happens when you leave city life and move to five acres on a hunch, with a husband who’s an aspiring alpaca-whisperer, and a feral cockerel for company? Can you eat the cockerel for dinner? Or has it got rigour mortise?

In search of a good life and a slower pace, Fiona Stocker upped-sticks and moved to Tasmania, a land of promise, wilderness, and family homes of uncertain build quality. It was the lifestyle change that many dream of and most are too sensible to attempt.

Wife, mother and now reluctant alpaca owner, Fiona jumped in at the deep end. Gradually Tasmania got under her skin as she learned to stack wood, round up the kids with a retired lady sheepdog, and stand on a scorpion without getting stung.

This charming tale captures the tussles and euphoria of living on the land in a place of untrammelled beauty, raising your family where you want to and seeing your husband in a whole new light. Not just a memoir but an everywoman’s story, and a paean to a new, slower age

My review

#book-review #book-reviewer

This memoir is refreshing and had me in stitches. Fiona and her husband originally from England, make the move from Brisbane to a rural life in Tasmania. They make a life for themselves in Tasmania with their two children and end up running an alpaca farm. The day to day running of a property and day to day life from the perspective of a busy mum with young children was just the book I needed to read.

Fiona’s memoir is written in a relaxed and comedic manner. I enjoyed how the book is structured into chapters which relate to different aspects of farm and family life.

Fiona Stocker has a sense of humour, an appreciation for the simple things in life and good books. After reading this, I would gladly sit down and have a tea with Fiona and can imagine we would have a great chat because of how down to earth she is. I also love that Fiona is the type of person who values manners. I had a laugh when Fiona formally introduces herself to a local resident. Her husband suggests that she ‘should be in a Jane Austen novel where formal introductions are all the rage.’ I am with Fiona. When my husband doesn’t introduce me to someone I take matters into my own hands too.

Fiona attempts to balance mum life and her life working on the property. Finding balance can be tricky. She does so whilst making some time for herself as she attends the local yoga class. Again, this chapter had me laughing a lot.

This is the first book I have read which is set on an alpaca farm. I learnt a lot about alpacas and found the process of purchasing them, shearing them and their not so nice habits interesting.

Fiona doesn’t sugarcoat parenting and is honest. She describes the minimal time at night to read as a ‘daily luxury’, which is very true for a mum with a toddler. At the end of a day of cuddles, playing and being there for our kids, us mums need that quiet time. I was able to relate to the stories of motherhood and enjoyed the very different stories of living in rural Tasmania.

I would recommend this memoir and particularly feel that mothers of young children would enjoy sitting back and having a laugh, as I have. Thanks Fiona for sharing your story with me and your readers.

Thank you Fiona for sending me a copy of your memoir in exchange for my honest review.


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