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on 3 February 2014
Jirre! I really loved this account of family life, learning what it was like to grow up in Botswana. Although I was a little slow getting into the book at first, I was soon drawn into the lives of these inspirational people and their zest for life. An account full of love and laughter, with lots of interesting anecdotes amidst the contrast of the harsh reality of the HIV and Aids crisis suffered in that part of Africa.
Not normally one for sneaking a peep at the end of a book, I have to admit to Googling family members before I read the epilogue, to find out where they are now. No surprises, but lovely to see they have all been true to their life in Botswana by continuing to follow fulfilled lives and careers while still remaining loyal to the Aids related charity they set up together.
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on 1 December 2014
I've just finished reading this book about a childhood spent in Botswana. Firstly a word about the print. I have 20-20 vision but the font size of this was so small that it strained my eyes. I haven't struggled reading any other books recently so I can only conclude that it was intended to be written on as small a number of pages as possible for some unknown reason. The story is absorbing without being gripping. In one review it was described as being like Gerald Durrell's my family and other animals. In my opinion that is stretching it a bit far. The characters, stories and narrative are good but do not bring the story to life to the same extent. The most interesting part of this book was the description of the tragic impact of HIV in Botswana from a doctor's perspective.
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on 28 February 2015
If I didn't make a point of finishing books once I've started then I would have abandoned this after a couple of chapters. And having finally finished it I'm sorry I bothered. The story of an awful home schooled childhood after having been uprooted from their home in New Zealand. The author and her siblings seem to have done well in their lives despite this but they did in fact spend their high school years away from parental influence at boarding school. The sections on the AIDS epidemic were interesting but the final straw was the author's admission at after living in Botswana for the best part of 20 years that she cannot speak the language.
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I couldn't put this book down, to me it was a idylic childhood, the one I would have chosen for myself. Growing up I'd occassionally met children who'd lived in Africa, or here for a short time before returning and I was always so jealous. This book was wonderful, an absolute delight. The madness, ingenuity, the whole melange was intoxicating and I loved it. I even cried when grandpa Scott died.
On a more serious note it was an insight to african culture and beliefs particuarly where health is concerned, more amazing was the research and help for aids victims, which sadly came to nothing.
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on 5 February 2013
I loved this book. I don't often read memoirs but this book was recommended and I'm glad I followed up the suggestion. I loved the way the author described her childhood and the picture she painted of her family, Africa & the times.
It also proved to be a great choice for a book club read. Not everyone loved the book, but there were lots of different discussion points and more time was devoted to talking about the book than eating and general chit-chat.
My only criticism, which was echoed by a few other of our book club members, was the the print was so small as to be off-putting.
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on 21 December 2013
A charming and enlightening description of the author's unconventional upbringing in Botswana. I found the book very absorbing and to give a fascinating account of an enviable childhood and upbringing. Readers will learn much of the flavour of life in Botswana today and much of it's recent history. I found the book riveting and it served to remind me of the month or so that my Wife and I spent exploring Botswana some ten years ago covering much of the ground covered by the author.
Highly recommended .
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on 26 December 2013
I was interested in discovering more about Botswana after reading the 1st Ladies Detective Agency books. This book shone a different light on the country, especially as it was written from a white person's perspective and as an autobiography. I really enjoyed many aspects of the book such as the home schooling and problems with ponies but tended to skim through more political aspects. As this was bought as a Kindle Daily Deal, I was happy with the price paid, but would not have wanted to pay full price.
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on 9 May 2013
I really enjoyed "Twenty Chickens for a Saddle" it was one of those books you just wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next. The authors story of her childhood growing up in Botswana surrounded by some really interesting and quirky characters, in particular her own less than conventional family was absolutely fascinating. I think it eloquently proves that a childhood like Robyn Scott's is far richer and ultimately fulfilling than one spent just following the norm.
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on 18 February 2014
This book is easy reading and gives interesting detailed insight in what is rewarding about living in a country quite different from my own,.It portrays well the life values and inspirations of the main characters, demonstrating the need for perseverance and good humour when faced with difficulties and shows that choices in ones life when confidently taken can bring much satisfaction although risk of failure cannot be ignored. Inspiring in simple ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gosh what a wonderful childhood. A lovely book from the first to the last page. I was sad when I had finished the book.
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