Voltaire’s Garden: A memoir of Cobargo

“I admit to having been happily surprised by this gem of a book” – Amazon reviewer

“Such an inspiring story” – Amy’s Bookshelf

“Profound and moving” – Justice Slade


About Voltaire’s Garden

Voltaire’s Garden is a memoir of creating a sustainable lifestyle, back-to-earth style, on a fifteen-acre cattle paddock in an idyllic pocket of southeast Australia, made famous by the bushfires of New Year’s Eve 2019.

Award-winning author Isobel Blackthorn introduces readers to the wondrous countryside of Cobargo Valley, where in 2005 she bought a parcel of land with spectacular views and built a large villa called Voltaire’s Garden, and surrounded it with swathes of luscious gardens.

With glorious descriptions of gardening, cooking and an exquisite Australian landscape, Voltaire’s Garden will inspire you to reflect on the values formed through a deep connection with the land. Composed in evocative prose, Blackthorn lays bare the hardships, the resilience, and many a hilarious moment in what is a feel-good and at times poignant read.


Voltaire’s Garden Reviews

“Raw, real, and engrossing, this memoir marbles hope and love through hard times.” – Clare Rhoden, author of The Stars in the Night

“I am normally wary of memoirs, so when a friend recommended Voltaire’s Garden, I was a bit skeptical. I was more than pleasantly surprised. This book is a
profound and moving work of philosophy, and yet accessable due to the eloquent way in which it was written. I’ve always been a fan of Voltaire, and I enjoyed the way Blackthorn used quotes from Candide to tie together her own story.

Isobel Blackthorn is able to relate everything from her experiences in Africa to the bushfires of Australia, and even the mundane-seeming tasks of planting gardens and digging fence posts in the hard, dry ground of the Australian outback in ways that are both accessable and interesting, and connects her experiences with the both the work and life of Voltaire and the current state of humanity in ways I did not at all expect.

I honestly had no idea this book would have such an emotional impact on me, and I couldn’t be more thankful to the friend who recommended I read it. – Justice Slade


Some background on Voltaire’s Garden

I wrote this memoir in 2008. When a horrific fire storm tore through my old home town Cobargo, and felt compelled to dust off this story, which when I revisited it all these years later made complete sense. I was traumatised at a distance by the fires.  This post explains what happened that New Year’s Eve 2019  and why I resurrected this tale and gave it an epilogue. https://isobelblackthorn.com/2020/01/03/australian-bushfire-hits-cobargo-when-a-bushfire-wipes-out-your-old-home-town/

Buy your copy of Voltaire’s Garden on Amazon http://mybook.to/voltairesgarden

Here’s the link to the audiobook edition:

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Voltaires-Garden-Audiobook/B08DWWLT9M

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