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12 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Susie do the walking, sit back and enjoy a good read!
I found it a wonderful book and admired Susie's crazy determination to fulfil her plan to walk from La Rochelle to Geneva inspiring. I think that, once my feet were a rotting mass of blisters, swathed in bandages and causing pain at every tottering step, I should have given up! But Susie struggled on and had a truly memorable experience.
Lying in her tiny, leaking...
Published on 6 May 2003 by Mrs. Linda Campbell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars My Blisters and Other Animals
A much better title for this book and as her feet were in a constant state of
mashed bandages,it was difficult to imagine. Having read many reviews on Kelly's
story,I was surprised that nobody mentioned the sub-plot,as it were, of the crazy
Texan woman.For the most part,although having enjoyed the travelogue of her French
journey,I was left with an...
Published 13 months ago by Eva Wierzuchowska


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Susie do the walking, sit back and enjoy a good read!, 6 May 2003
By 
Mrs. Linda Campbell (Sheffield United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
I found it a wonderful book and admired Susie's crazy determination to fulfil her plan to walk from La Rochelle to Geneva inspiring. I think that, once my feet were a rotting mass of blisters, swathed in bandages and causing pain at every tottering step, I should have given up! But Susie struggled on and had a truly memorable experience.
Lying in her tiny, leaking and condensation filled tent night after freezing night, she committed the day's experiences to her little recorder and brought them home to share with us in this book.
Perhaps, as the many French people she encountered on her route felt, you have to be full of English eccentricity to even embark on such a walk. However, I think that anyone who loves France will thoroughly enjoy this book and finish it with a sincere admiration for its doughty author.
Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book about overcoming challenges to fulfill a dream, 26 July 2005
By 
E. Goodall (SE England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
I've just finished reading Best Foot Forward and it was a really enjoyable read - in fact I couldn't put it down!
Susie took a tape recorder with her when she took on the mammoth task of walking from La Rochelle to Lake Geneva, and clearly recorded the events that took place in a great deal of detail - the tales she recounts of the places she visits and the people she meets are very descriptive and perceptive. She's very honest about her feelings concerning what's going on - the trip was certainly not an easy one (being scared of heights and claustrophobic isn't ideal if you want to walk up large hills and mountains and through dark tunnels!) and through tales of unexpected and often hilarious encounters with the native population she shares with us what she learns about the French way of reacting to situations, which is quite different from the English way she's used to, and often far more generous and kind than one might expect in either country, which makes you feel much more positive about the human race! Susie also has a good sense of humour and it's uplifting to read about how she remains upbeat and good-humoured about the worst of situations.
If you're interested in reading about how someone overcomes many obstacles to fulfil their dream, and learning a little bit about the French way of life, it's a lovely book to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Everything, 19 April 2003
This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
I absolutely loved this book once I started reading I could not stop.
I felt as if I was walking next to Susie Kelly although I am neither as brave nor I hope as foolhardy. Her description of scenes as her journey unfolded were wonderful. Meal descriptions were mouthwatering or revolting and overnight stops sometimes made me shiver and sometimes made me envious. When she reached journey's end I was delighted for her but sad the book was over as I wanted it to go on and on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down, 3 Sep 2008
By 
H. O'BRIEN "kizmax" (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
i really enoyed this book found it funny i just couldn't put it down, my mother on the other hand thought I was mental she hated it ! I thought it was an interesting light hearted easy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Susie Kelly, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
A terrific read ,i like Susie Kellys books and this one is no exception.Full of tales about life in France and very funny in parts.Agreat book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My Blisters and Other Animals, 12 July 2013
This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
A much better title for this book and as her feet were in a constant state of
mashed bandages,it was difficult to imagine. Having read many reviews on Kelly's
story,I was surprised that nobody mentioned the sub-plot,as it were, of the crazy
Texan woman.For the most part,although having enjoyed the travelogue of her French
journey,I was left with an uneasy feeling about Ms Kelly's priorities.These were
clearly on finishing the walk at whatever cost;despite her husband's misgivings and
Jennifer's dying father.On hearing of his death,she proceeded to get drunk, relieved
that her housesitter would stay and not return to Texas,as any other normal human
being with a heart would have done.
I found her interests mainly lay on her feet and a close second, her menagerie.
Irresponsibility, and at her age, comes to mind.
Of course the Texan eccentric is not without blame. She answered the advert at the
time of her father's serious illness;and hightailed it to France as fast as she
could.Without even waiting for confirmation, or before Susie could change her mind,
more like.It seems blindingly obvious that Jennifer had found her escape route from
the family trauma.No wonder she didn't return home when he died.I would not have
called her "breathtakingly heroic".How can some complete stranger's animals be more important than her own family?
Furthermore, someone of Susie's writing calibre,fluent and picturesque,
could do better than sell herself short, with all the grumbling and moaning on
about the pathetic pieces of equipment she was lumbered with.It certainly detracted from the story, was unnecessary and could have been avoided if enough
thought had gone into the planning stages.She was very naive and unexperienced
in the joys of outdoor living.
At the point of horrible discomfort, it should have been a question of damage
limitation; a new tent and sleeping bag would not have broken her bank, and made
her story,and our experience reading it all the more enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a double read, 29 May 2012
This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
I'm not one to read a book twice - there are too many books out there yet to be read. However, in this case I can make an exception. I first read this book about 4 months after I had completed a solo walk across the UK and thus could empathise so much with her feelings as she got fed up with circular walks around where she lived (exactly what prompted my big walk). As for the first chapter I was in tears by the end, roaring at the similarity of aches and pains after just one day with so far yet to go. Her determination to succeed despite the odds of being alone and having to get an animal sitter for her menagerie in a foreign land is to be admired, as is her intolerance of those who join her at the end and have little understanding of what she has been through (which also happened to me).

Susie Kelly has a very easy style and this book tends to draw you in, as if you are walking with her (but without the effort!). This is a highly readable book even without the similarities to my adventures and one I would thoroughly recommend, as I would her books Two Steps Backward and A Perfect Circle. Now I'm off to order her other books and catch up on some more manic escapism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book - a classic., 29 Jan 2012
This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
This book is about a brave woman who takes the bull by the horns, & actually does things lots of us would love to do, but, through indolence, laziness, fear, lack of time or opportunity, never get round to. But it's more than that. In modern life, it always seems to be the case that every thing we do, every effort, every penny we spend, must, of needs, have a result or outcome beyond the thing itself. In this lovely book there is more than that, a simple, oft-quoted but usually ignored undercurrent. And what, you may ask, is that? It's the simplest of things, yet one so rarely seen these days. The love, the passion, the dedication, despite suffering and setback, in spite of hazards both natural and man-made, to do, and wherever and whenever possible, enjoy to the utmost the thing itself. The journey, irrespective of the destination, or outcome. Then there's the humour, which constantly tickles you, and often makes you burst our laughing. This book is a tonic, an escape from materialism, a sojourn into territory, physical and abstract, where most of us, alas, have never ventured. I loved every bit of it, & I'll be reading ALL of Susie Kelly's books!

James Penhaligon, author of 'speak Swahili, Dammit!' & 'Trevellas Goes Forth".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Foot Forward, 6 Nov 2010
By 
B. F. Orme "Adventurer" (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
An excellent book, beautifully written. As well as recounting the life and experiences of both Susie and Terry as they are forced to live separately, in two countries, in their struggle to keep their animals fed and a roof over their heads, there is an abundance of extremely useful facts, information, advice, pitfalls to be avoided etc., which are invaluable to anyone thinking of moving, or who have recently moved, to France and which they ignore at their peril. Her humour makes you smile, and laugh out loud. Somethings make you cry. Her story is well told and we have now ordered her other two books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blistered Foot Forward, 21 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Best Foot Forward : From La Rochelle to Lake Geneva - The Misadventures of an Englishwoman (Paperback)
This is a true account of Susie Kelly's walk from La Rochelle to Geneva. The author's sense of humour shines throughout, even in the most desperate of situations. By day, she battles on with her feet full of blisters, and spends freezing nights trying to recuperate in her leaking, condensation-filled tent. Susie's descriptions of scenes and events encountered along the way vary between wonderful and hilarious. The tale is exquisitely written, honest and totally captivating. Selfishly, I never wanted the walk (or the book) to end.

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