THE LAMBS by Carole George


My Father, a Farm, and the Gift of a Flock of Sheep
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A former international lawyer tells the story of how she took over a “ratty little farm” in Virginia and became an improbable shepherdess.

When George’s 85-year-old father visited the 27-acre farm she had bought on a whim, he told her that she lived in “poetry country” and that her land needed sheep. Together they went to a local breeder’s home where George eventually purchased 13 lambs she intended to keep as pets. The sheep were Karakuls, a Central Asian breed known for producing wool that carpet and felt makers prized for its beauty and toughness. The author named each sheep after favorite composers like Chopin, Bach, and Mozart, and from the start, she marveled at the personality differences that made each sheep unique. Over the next 13 years, George watched her life transform dramatically. Her days were centered on simpler country rhythms that included shearing, training, and feeding her Karakuls. The sheep became her constant companions on daily walks around her property and attended the occasional gatherings she held at her home. They even befriended her father, who read his favorite literary works among them. Indeed, the link between “The Lambs” and the elder George was so strong that the flock came to symbolize the author’s “most valuable inheritance, the sound of my father's voice repeating the words and images of his dearly loved poetry.” The Karakuls also inspired George to pick up “the thread of my literary life” that she had dropped in pursuit of a successful law career. Illustrated throughout with lovingly captioned photos, the book is not just a testament to the power of human-animal connections. It is also a tender, joyfully eccentric recollection of how a woman rediscovered what was most important to her through a singular relationship with an unforgettable flock of sheep.

A heartwarmingly compassionate memoir of self-discovery among cherished animals in “a scrap of Virginia countryside.”

Pub Date: April 24th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-11352-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2018


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