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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Read it and learn what caring is about..........
This book amazed me because the writer not only gave a well written account of caring for a disabled loved one on holiday, but also an accurate one. I can only think that he has actually cared for someone in this way himself to have portrayed the situation with such feeling. He covers the guilt at not doing enough, the desire for freedom and the nursing in a sensitive...
Published on 28 Jan 2001 by Khandeish

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read One Big Damn Puzzler instead.
I read John Harding's more recent book 'One Big Damn Puzzler' and enjoyed it immensely. I went out and bought this one, and was so disappointed. I think it had more to do with the depressing subject matter than the writing. If you like realism in your reading than you might enjoy it more than I did.
Published on 29 Aug 2006 by Molehill


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Read it and learn what caring is about.........., 28 Jan 2001
By 
Khandeish (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
This book amazed me because the writer not only gave a well written account of caring for a disabled loved one on holiday, but also an accurate one. I can only think that he has actually cared for someone in this way himself to have portrayed the situation with such feeling. He covers the guilt at not doing enough, the desire for freedom and the nursing in a sensitive and honest way. He adds his own humour to the story allowing his readers to see the funny side of events. Read to the end and dream on......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent first novel - compulsive reading, 11 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
This is not the sort of book that I normally read and as a rule, I'm not very keen on books written in the first person. However, this book had me captivated from beginning. It gives a great insight into Parkinson's Disease (not the shaking kind!), which obviously springs from a certain amount of personal experience. It was dealt with in a down-to-earth manner with humour, thus preventing it from being too heavy.
The story tells Nick and his wife, Laura, taking his parents to Malta for a holiday, as his father was based there during the war. Although it is tacit, everyone knows that it will be his fathers last holiday. His mother is a delight, with her total confidence that she is still slim (she is at least a size 20!) and her much-used phrases, whilst carrying the burden of looking after her husband in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. There is also a family secret connected with the island and they are intent on getting to the bottom of it, with somewhat unexpected consequences. Speaking of unexpected ... the ending !
Without saying too much about the plot, I would say that I had great difficulty in putting this book down, reading late into the night and I wanted the book to carry on after the end! I really want to know what happens to the characters and would love a sequel! A thoroughly enjoyable book with just the right amount of pathos. My friends and family are getting bored with me raving on about it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 16 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
Since reading this book my girlfriend and I have found ourselves saying "Yis," whenever we want to answer a question positively and get what we want. "Get it up," will also never quite mean the same again . This is such a funny, warm book. A real joy to read. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, moving, thought provoking, 10 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
A brilliant first novel. One of those books that sucks you in from the first page and keeps you enthralled all the way through. Parkinson's disease may seem like a depressing subject matter but not in the way Harding has written about it. I laughed, I cried, I cringed but I always wanted to read more. The ending will take your breath away. Read this book and you'll never forget it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and extremely funny in turns, 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
As someone who regularly holidays with a disabled person (not Parkinson's but just as 'difficult)', it is wonderfully refreshing to read this book which 'tells it like it is'. The delight of Harding's book is that he manages to avoid the mawkish, the sentimental or any attempt to evoke pity from the reader. So, what could have been a rather depressing vignette of 'real life' is, instead, a joyous book telling of different types of love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I have read in ages, 21 May 2014
This book is beautifully written. You can almost feel the love he has for his family.. Can't wait to read his other books
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and tragic, 5 Nov 2012
By 
The title of this book is evocative of school essays after the summer break, when children are made to make their holiday interesting enough to make a story. This book however is one of the most interesting I have read for a very long time. The characters are really well done and the pace of the story is just right to keep you reading, in my case, without many pauses, to the very end.
The book description perhaps gives away too much information, but there are enough surprises in the plot, loveable characters, and also some very good peripheral characters i.e. the four nylon track suited holiday neighbours in differing colours, and Anthony's bitchy girlfriend.
The initial reason for the holiday is that it is a present from Nick and Laura to Nick's parents, then the secondary purpose is added, as there is another son of Nick's father born as a result of a liaison in Malta during the war, before his present marriage, and they now want to find him. In the end they find out a lot, but not quite what they were looking for.
The subject of the father's Parkinson's and the care needed is portrayed in a very practical and straightforward way. There are tragic and also hilarious moments of misunderstandings and miscommunication, and lots of detailed description of the personal care needed for someone disabled which might be an eye-opener for some. There is also a great feeling of love in this family and the book has a very satisfactory ending. I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Holiday Read!, 25 Jun 2010
By 
Christopher Hession "Chris H" (Ballinfoyle) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
A good holiday read for me - extremely funny in places but also utterly matter-of-fact and poignant throughout. I can understand some reviewers querying it as a `valid' novel, but maybe they haven't yet got the declining and deteriorating parents, with the associated problems that come with age. The author pulls no punches with issues like old age, medication and constipation, so be warned!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet, 8 Sep 2009
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
I loved this book.. I cried with laughing at some parts, cried with sadness at some parts. A carefully written novel that obviously springs from experience and without softening what is like to look after someone with an illness, cuts to the reality of love, affection and how sometimes its hard and frustrating for both carer and cared for. It isn't a piece of fluff, though you possibly would buy it for a holiday read given the title, its so much more than that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read One Big Damn Puzzler instead., 29 Aug 2006
By 
This review is from: What We Did on Our Holiday (Paperback)
I read John Harding's more recent book 'One Big Damn Puzzler' and enjoyed it immensely. I went out and bought this one, and was so disappointed. I think it had more to do with the depressing subject matter than the writing. If you like realism in your reading than you might enjoy it more than I did.
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What We Did on Our Holiday
What We Did on Our Holiday by John Harding (Paperback - 6 April 2000)
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