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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 31 May 2007
I'm a huge fan of Chris Stewart's "Driving Over Lemons" series and so I picked this up hoping it might be something along the same lines - a nice gentle read for my recent holiday. Well it was and it wasn't. The similarities between the beautifully drawn rural settings were inescapable, but this book actually made me laugh out loud - eliciting some very strange looks from the people sitting on the sun loungers around me. If you really want to escape the stresses of life in the UK I can't recommend it highly enough - even if you are never going to move abroad, this little slice of Spanish paradise is enough to make you feel refreshed and ready to do battle with real life once again.
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on 22 March 2007
Regular commuting between London and Mallorca? This seems like a strangely masochistic way of life to a homebody country lad like me, whose knowledge of any form of commuting to work amounts to little more than my experience of having shared in the travelling tribulations of Neil Armstrong and Marco Polo. So, the more I got into this slickly-written book, the more I found myself willing Anna Nicholas to turn her back on the 'torture' of flying back and forth between bustling Mayfair and her idyllic mountain retreat, and to make the big break to the full-time 'vida buena' of rural Mallorca once and for all. But easier said than done ... I know!

Her account of how she copes with her double life, including her efforts to overcome a dread of flying and her mischievous pokes at the superficialities of London's PR business, makes for highly entertaining and amusing reading. This book will ring all the right bells for those whose lives are dominated by the routine of crowding into trains, buses and tubes at both ends of every working day. I fancy that most of them will dream of swapping Anna's 'torture' for theirs, but how many would actually take the plunge, even if they could?

Anna Nicholas did, but will she eventually plump for smelling the Mallorcan roses on a permanent basis? Maybe her next book (and I suspect there will be one!) will provide the answer. I look forward to reading all about it when the time comes.
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on 3 June 2007
This is a delightful and beautifully written book full of wonderful descriptions and vivid characters. I would say that as a Londoner I probably enjoyed the London scenes more than the Mallorcan ones. The eccentric characters in both places were however delightful, particular the ever wonderful Ed. The only item that did not ring quite true to me was Ed's trip to Mallorca. Somehow I do think this character would have ever have braved his fear of flying even to visit his old friend!! Altogether though an excellent book which I would warmly recommend anyone to read.
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on 19 April 2007
Anna Nicholas has achieved what many aspire to, that is living in a beautiful environment but working where the work is. In this fast moving, humorous and stylishly written account of how the new phenomenon of destination commuting can work in practice, she demonstrates how, with a little determination, anyone can do the same. It is an inspirational account of her own experiences in keeping a foot in both camps, and how to enjoy the best of both worlds. I have no doubt that it will provide encouragement to many others seeking a more fulfilling existence. Her book is a highly enjoyable read and, I predict, the first of many more from this very talented writer.
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on 19 June 2007
It was so refreshing to read this marvellous book which was recommended to me by a fellow book club member in Reading. I loved the completely authentic feel of it, the at times breathtakingly beautiful prose, which I saw was described as lyrical by one of the nationals reviewers. What makes this so different from all the other get away to the sun books is that the characters are so real and the humour is fantastic. I laughed till it hurt and also cried, especially when the author's cat nearly dies and loses her kittens. There are wonderful insights on life in Mallorca, particularly the fiestas and local events so it acts as a great guide as much as a biog on life in a foreign country. I would recommend it to anyone. My copy is now with my daughter and she is already totally obsessed!
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on 20 June 2007
It's good to find a book about relocating that gives an entirely dfferent slant. Unlike many books in this genre, this story swings between London and Mallorca where the author has set up home with her family. It's about the new phenomenon of living and working between two completely different places, something which I'd like to do myself! It's a hugely entertainly read, funny, touching and at times completely quriky. The characters are pretty mad in London and charismatic in Mallorca-a clever way of balancing the frenetic life of London with the more nurturing existence in rural Mallorca. So refreshing to find such an original read..and I adored the toad!
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on 18 March 2007
At last! The " have-it-all" book for dreamers and realists alike. This book is for anyone who has ever yearned - and let's face it, who hasn't - to get away from the dreary, politically-correct, nanny state that England has become. So many "escape" books tell the same story: Rich Divorcée, Financially Independent Sort or Famous Author buys up dilapidated, rambling property, has legions of tame builders do it up at vast expense and lives happily ever after with nary a mention of the W-word. Work, that is!

This refreshing, inspirational book will help all those are still desperately fumbling for the escape hatch. Those who don't have fat bank accounts, wealthy husbands or wives, haven't just won the National Lottery or, perish the thought, just simply enjoy their jobs,will fall in love with this book. It proves that it really is possible to have a foot in both camps, live in the sun, work in the UK and stay sane.

Surely the low-cost airlines should be selling this by the spade-full.

All in all a beautifully-written, lyrical yet pragmatic book about how to have it all.

Charlotte Wyatt
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on 20 March 2007
Always on the lookout for something to take on holiday, I came across this in Waterstone's, loved the cover and opened it up for a sneak peek. I was hooked after the first page, bought it there and then, and have already got through nearly half of the book and I haven't even boarded the plane!

It keeps getting better, the writing style never fails to impress, there's humour by the bucketload, but most importantly this book works on both a very light hearted level and a far deeper and richer one too. So, any travellers or holidaymakers out there, or anyone just looking for a really well written and thoroughly excellent book, this is a must have, 6 stars if they had it.
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on 1 August 2007
Just couldn't put this book down, and now I can't wait for the next book to find out what everyone is up to! I've been to many of the places Anna talks about, her stories bring them so much to life I was transported. She's a great storyteller.

If you've read Peter Kerr's Mallorcan adventures and enjoyed them, then you'll enjoy this one.
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on 27 July 2007
I came across this title at Gatwick Smith's and thought I'd give it a whirl. I was on my way to Mallorca and I found it a very amusing and wry read during the holiday. The author takes few prisoners in her ascerbic wit about London life and its superficialities but she is kinder about the Mallorcans with whom she begins to lead a more fulfilling life. I found it very touching and at times roared with laughter. I wouldn't like to be her enemy given the way she desribes even her best friend?! I am sure with that cliff hanger, there'll be a sequel. I'll be in the queue to see what this crazy woman does next. Lovely writing style too.
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