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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2014
I have read this book at least four times, or maybe more, over the years. I don't usually do that unless I really enjoy it and it takes me away from everyday stressful life. I LOVE THIS SERIES! Rafella Barker writes like a real woman who has experienced all that happens to her in the book. She makes her children real, speaking as everyday kids speak and act. I love Venetia's eccentricity, vulnerability and sense of humour. I love Venetia's mother, the smoking drinking eccentric woman with a heart. This book makes me laugh out loud. I love how she describes the Norfolk area (one of my favourite places in the UK), the garden, the twilight, you feel like you are there. It makes me want to don a pair of red wellies and get stuck into the garden. If you don't enjoy this book then you don't know how to switch off and plant yourself in another world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2013
I found an excerpt of this in an anthology I was reading, I was so impressed with the short passage, I bought the book. I was not disappointed! Raffaella's writing is witty and full of pathos. I recommend this book to all ..
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Have just finished Hens Dancing having read Summertime first of all. Laughed out loud at both books, the fairly simple story is delightfully 'real', scarily my family fit the characters in the stories, made me look at myown life from another perspective, a happy good feeling read, hopefully there will be more of the same.
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Hens Dancing is a beatifully written book about family life with all it's trials & tribulations. Venetia is on the verge of total meltdown due to the break-up of her marriage but with the help of friends, her children, her hectic home-life & eventually, a man who sorts her bathroom out, her life starts to come back together.
A lovely summer read that made such an impression on me, i've read everything I could find by Raffaella Barker, (including Summertime, the sequel to Hens Dancing) & this is by far the best.
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on 9 July 1999
What an absolute joy this "diary" is; light-hearted, devilishly good descriptions, and a plethora of exquisitely described characters who run amock in and out of the fictional Venetia Summers' life. The animals are scene-stealers too; from Digger the wayward Labrador to his worthy opponent, the awesome terrier Rags. I read it all at one sitting, read the whole diary again a few days later, and am now hungry for more. Absolutely marvellous stuff from Raffaella Barker.
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on 8 June 1999
Raffaella Barker has created a delicious creature in Venetia, mother of three raggle taggle children. Venetia is keen on pink kitten heeled shoes and hens and her dishevelled life. She is less keen on her ex husband - a man who owns a chain of Pet Cemetries.. Venetia's chaotic country life and the machinations of her daughter The Beauty make for something much more vivid than Bridget Jones. A real new world, a year in the country, and hens who wear trousers. You will love it.
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on 17 October 2009
Bears no relationship to the realities of rural life unless you're on a Cath Kidston budget (I mean, look at the cover; it is not misleading) -- frothy and ludicrous, but rural reality is not the point. The humour is in the people and their relationships, and the highly entertaining writing. And despite the nonsense, somehow it managed to be endearing and touching too. And it really made me laugh. Pure pleasure.
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i love barker's style of writing, its completely unique and individual and i lap up what she has written, however although this was a good, comic and painfully real tale, i still preferred Summertime, which i rated highly. My advice would be to read the latter but maybe not bother with this, or is you do, don't feel too bad about giving up in the middle. However i still love her work anyway!
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on 15 August 2000
What a fun book, written in short, journal-entry-like, passages. Just when you think you've got your life all figured out and you know the direction it's taking - wham! Venetia's an incredibly likeable, believable character - and Barkers cast of supporting characters were so well written, I kept wanting more and more of them! Funny, thought provoking!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2003
Fantastically perceptive! I read this after the sequel, Summetime, and although in my opinion not quite as funny it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read. Raffaella Barker seems to have an incredible knack for social observations which you find yourself agreeing to out loud! Would recommend it to anyone along with Summertime.
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