Monday, 20 March 2017

#bookreview ~ How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics by Valerie Poore @vallypee

How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics
 Valerie Poore

When Maisie Peterson leaves university in 1977 without a job to go to, she decides to help her mother save her large and impractical country property in the wilds of rural Dorset by trying her hand at self-sufficiency. Ma is just a tad eccentric, though, and Maisie has no clue about farming. Her efforts are thwarted at quite a few turns by a flock of willful sheep, a dotty aunt, a charming but ineffective boyfriend and a swarthy, but highly desirably agricultural auctioneer. Emily, the ewe, runs rings round her while Ma drifts in and out of the scene in an ancient wedding dress, causing havoc in Maisie's attempts to sort out her personal as well as her agricultural problems

What did I make of the book?

Farming — there is nothing to it!

Maisie Peterson has an idea, and like all ideas, it is best to simply not think about it overly much and just do it. Of course, when it comes to farming, a little knowledge can be helpful, especially when it comes to livestock. But hey, if anyone can do it, Maisie can!

I don't think I will ever forget how Maisie transports her first sheep, Emily, home from the market — I am not going to tell you how she does it because I don't want to spoil it, but there were tears rolling down my cheeks! It is hilarious. Add to that the rather territorial geese, the egg stealing dog, and the useless WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), apprentice who is meant to be helping, but accidently set himself on fire. And let's not forget the terribly eccentric mother, who often walks around the farm yard in a wedding dress....!!!

This book is so funny, with a super fast plot and characters — both human and animal — that I came to love. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Emily trotting down the road and heading for my geraniums!

A wonderfully refreshing read that I didn't want to put down.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

Val Poore was born in London, England, and grew up in both north London and the west of Dorset. After completing her degree in English, History and French at Bournemouth, she took a further course in the conservation and restoration of museum artefacts at Lincoln College of Art which qualified her for nothing at all really. She then spent two years doing furniture restoration before going to South Africa in 1981 with her husband and small children.

Valerie left South Africa permanently in 2001 and has settled in the Netherlands, where she shares her time between a liveaboard barge in Rotterdam and a cottage in Zeeland. She teaches academic and business English on a freelance basis and still writes in her spare time, although she admits there's not enough of that at the moment. In fact, she has been writing since childhood and wrote stories, articles and radio plays for years before embarking on her first book in 2005. Val loves travelling especially when it involves roughing it a bit. She feels that she has better adventures and more interesting experiences that way. 

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