Review – French Illusions Book 2: Linda Kovic Skow The following review has been posted on Goodreads, Amazon US & UK …
Fat Dogs and French Estates Part 1&2 Beth Haslam
Beth Haslam will very shortly have a new book out. It will be the third book in the Fat Dogs and French Estates series. I can’t wait to read it and I’m really looking forward to it because I found the first two books in the series very enjoyable.
Below are my reviews for Fat Dogs and French Estates Book one and Book two. Also posted on Amazon and Goodreads
I was going to include a funny quote, but the humerous quotes are too numerous to highlight just one. Beth writes with an exceptionally observant sense of humour about the search for a property, the dogs who share the journey, the colourful characters they meet along the way and her husband, who let’s just say is entirely unintentionally hilariously funny!
(Read this during a stressful time and it was very good therapy) Highly recommended. Looking forward to Part 2 😀
After reading the first book in the series ‘Fat Dogs and French Estates Part I, I was absolutely bursting to read the second one and it didn’t disappoint.
Beth and her husband Jack accompanied by their two dogs, are still searching for a French domaine to buy and as in the first book, estate agents seem intent on showing them some very undesirable properties with the most peculiar owners.
I love Beth’s humorous descriptions of the seemingly never ending quest to find the perfect property, their adventures along the way and Jack’s irascible and often hilarious outbursts of grumpiness. Jack is a funnier, wittier and grumpier version of the character of Victor Meldrew.
As a bit of a fan of military history, Jack’s scathing remarks about the subject throughout their journey really made me laugh out loud on occasion. Unfortunately, I read the book far too quickly and have now finished the book. Bereft, but I’ll wait patiently for the next one in the series.
The Wrong Shade of Yellow by Margaret Leigh
The following 5* review was also posted on US & UK Amazon and Goodreads
I enjoyed this book so much that I didn’t want it to end and was quite sad when it did. One of those times where you actually forget that you’re reading a book and are right there with the writer. The book is so well written, witty, funny and descriptive that it was a joy to read.
For someone who doesn’t cycle, I’m often drawn to travel memoirs of the long cycle ride variety. Cyclists see a lot more of the areas they travel through, interact with the local population and can also encounter the dark and dangerous side of cycling and camping alone – definitely more so if female.
The author wasn’t at all keen on some of the countries, or their inhabitants, as she passed through but each to their own and this is one person’s journey, so just their opinion.
The writer from New Zealand, a middle-aged woman, having a mid-life crisis of sorts and virtually homeless, decides to cycle and camp on her own across Europe. Her final destination is Greece where she plans to eventually find a place to live, bringing her 80 year old mother, an indomitable feisty character, with a variety of ailments to live with her.
The journey along the way is fraught with all kinds of challenges and problems to overcome, but a lovely enjoyable read filled with descriptive detail of the landscapes and encounters with various forms of wildlife – not always good experiences. Will definitely be reading more from this author.
To Purchase on Amazon
Review –Meadowlands: The Private Life of An English Field: John Lewis-Stempel
The following review has also been posted on Goodreads, Amazon US & UK
I doubt if I have enough words in my vocabulary to give this book the full praise it deserves but here goes:
I found this beautifully descriptive book such a joy to read. I’ve learned so much about nature and wildlife from it.
The author John Lewis-Stempel is such a master of poetic prose, that at times I was brought to tears by the sheer beauty of his descriptions and observations of the flora and fauna during a year in the life of a meadow on his farm on the Herefordshire border.
The book is interspersed with poetry, folk lore and historical snippets of country living and farm life, I suspect that quite a bit of research has gone into producing such a masterpiece but the author is obviously a very well-read chap and much is drawn from his own love of the land, memories and considerable knowledge and experience.
We have birds – their mating, feeding and migratory habits and patterns; wildflowers beloved and necessary to all different types of butterflies and bees. Foxes, with whom the writer appears to have mixed relationship and a grudging admiration for, but if they mess with his chickens ‘I am an Old Testament poultry-keeper. I say a life for a life, and have a gun that speaks death’
Voles and other types of small mammals including hedgehogs and anything living that inhabits the meadow throughout the year. Mouldywarps, which are moles by another name. All have a role, a part to play as an occasionally anthromorphic character in this life and death meadow saga.
I could quote huge sections of this book to illustrate the beauty of it but will just include one
21 MARCH Heavy rain. The horses in House Field stand back to the rain, the sheep and their lambs are either under the hedges or tight against the bales. The red-tailed bumblebee must be glad of the house that it has taken from the mouse. In Lower Meadow I see a small flock of forlorn redwings, the thrush with the fetching cream eye-stripe and orange flanks, in the hazel. At my approach, up into the air they go, slipping left, slipping right, drunkenly unsteady. They loiter for a day. On the 23rd I hear redwings ‘zeeping’ in the starred night when I’m checking the sheep. Next day there are no redwings on the farm. They have gone north, to home in Scandinavia.
To Purchase Meadowland from Waterstones
I’m looking forward to reading John Lewis-Stempel’s latest, recently published book ‘The Running Hare’ that I pre-ordered and it arrived by post the other day.