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on 9 March 2012
After recently reading extracts from this book in the Daily Mail I was very keen to read the whole thing and I have to say, that for me, it doesn't disappoint in the slightest!!

"Where Have I Gone" never set out to be a full Autobiography of Pauline's career, as it is (as it says on the cover) covering the past year of her life when she managed to lose a lot of weight on the LighterLife programme, as (by her own admission) she needed to take drastic action as her health was suffering. As one reviewer has mentioned, the beginning of the book starts out as something of a journal/daily food diary, but as you read on you'll discover that (again by her own admission) Pauline was not exactly great at keeping a diary so it went by the wayside (and at the time she was also heavily involved with storylines on Emmerdale, so that's probably another reason the diary stopped).

Basically, the book covers her weight loss over the period of a year, from the realisation that she needed to do something about it (the plane and seatbelt scenario) to the joyful moment months later when she'd finally lost 6/7 stones and burst into tears when the plane seatbelt finally managed to do up!! (doesn't sound a big deal, but for Pauline it very much was!!). The book is also peppered with little anicdotes from her varied career, with stories about 'Birds of a Feather', how she began acting (after school with the Anna Scher drama group) and more recently her stint as 'Hazel Rhodes' on Emmerdale. As you read the book you can really hear Pauline's voice leaping off each page as it's written exactly how she would speak (if that makes sense). "Where Have I Gone" is an emotional, funny, heart-warming and inspirational book which gives an insight into one of our best loved british actresses as she goes on a journey of self discovery and changes her life for the better, which goes to prove that if you put your mind to something then you can achieve ANYTHING!! A truly BRILLIANT read and I highly recommend it!!

And don't forget that the 'Birds' are now back on the road!!!!.... [...]
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I like Pauline Quirke. Having just seen her in the excellent Broadchurch, I decided to give this book a go. In between my diet of children's books and weighty tomes of literature I like to relax with a good celebrity autobiography.

I found this one rather odd. I appreciate that it started off as a kind of food diary for her major weight loss programme - and well done to her for doing what she did, but it suddenly veered off all over the place and ended up as neither chalk nor cheese.

She seems a lovely person, you can hear her voice as you read the book, and that makes it work. Autobiographies, in my opinion, do not necessarily need to be towering works of literature, but they should feel true to the person who is supposed to have written them, and this certainly does that.

It is a bit of a damp squib though to be honest. I would have preferred either an autobiography or a book about weight loss, but not some weird hybrid that didn't really satisfy on either front.
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on 17 May 2015
A honest and inspirational read from Pauline. I decided to buy a few books to inspire me on my personal weight loss journey and this one was really heart warming. Whilst I'm not taking the same steps as Pauline's, she has inspired me with her honesty about the worst of having those extra stones and the realisation that you just can't carry on doing what you do and blame something or somebody else. She wasn't trying to be a supermodel, she was just determined to improve her fitness and wellbeing. She was very lucky and felt loved with her extra weight and so she really did this for herself, and good on you Pauline for achieving your goal! Not only that, she now has a totally different way of eating that really makes you confident, it's unlikely you will see her as a larger lady again. Hats off to you Pauline! Be happy!
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on 8 October 2012
I have admired Pauline Quirke for many years - we are the same age, and I have followed her career with interest, ever since the very early days. She is an excellent actress, and comedian. I bought this book because I am struggling with my weight, and thought it would be an interesting, and possibly helpful read. It is simply an ad for Lighter Life - the story of her year on the diet, but with nothing of any great interest at all. It seems she hardly struggled, and everything was a breeze. I can't believe that, having tried the LL diet myself for three weeks a while ago, I know how obsessed you become with food - this is barely touched on (she mentions how she became a food "sniffer"). It reads as if it has been heavily audited by Lighter Life prior to publication - and I wonder how much Pauline was paid for writing it? Disappointing.
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on 2 November 2015
I didn't really enjoy this. Yes, I did expect it to focus on her weight loss but it just felt like she'd rushed the book to capitalise on her weight loss and didnt really give you much of a feel for her life outside Emmerdale. Having lost (& gained) weight myself I know how hard it is and I am just slightly sceptical that someone who has clearly had previous weight issues can just suddenly find it so very simple to lose weight with very few problems or challenges along the way. It just doesn't work like that. Seemed like she'd glossed over it too much - like one of those 'Before and After' keep fit DVDs
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2012
I've been a fan of Pauline's since Shine on Harvey Moon and have been bowled over by her recent weight loss. As someone who is a similar size to the 'old' Pauline, I was very interested to read about it from her point of view. I know from my own attempts that it was never going to be an easy journey for her and I am only too familiar with the feelings that she talks about at the beginning of the book. She catalogues her journey honestly and with humour and anyone who has ever struggled with their weight will be willing her to succeed (even though we know the outcome!)

I downloaded this at 3pm and couldn't put it down until I finished it 90 minutes later. Having recently given birth I now think it's time to follow her lead. Unfortunately Lighter Life is beyond my reach but this book and Pauline's story has inspired me to give it my best shot. Well done Pauline.
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on 10 June 2015
I found this book to be a genuine read. Written very honestly.

I would have liked to of read more about Pauline Quirke herself rather than events that happened in her life, though to be fair, the book does state that it is about a year in her life rather than a biography.

She is one of the most down to earth writers of any book that I have read and has an immense real love for her family, which she mentions quite a bit in the book,

My final comment is that it was a bit like reading The most fortunate women's story.

I would recommend.
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on 26 September 2017
If I could have given a higher rating than five, I would have. Oh what a love this woman is. Straight as a dye and with a lovely warm nature. Wish she were my friend. Top marks for your determination to lose weight Pauline. Hope it never returns. What an achievement. Please come back to Emmerdale, it's the only soap we watch. C. Ward xxx.
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on 26 July 2012
I wanted to read this book as I had heard alot of good comments from people who had read it and I was also hoping to get some tips as I have started Lighter Life myself. It did not disappoint! I found it funny (full of anecdotes about Pauline's profession)and, at times emotional, probably because I could relate it to my own struggles with weight loss.

It was full of honesty as well which I found incredibly refreshing from a celebrity. I have gained alot of useful tips for myself and as a result have had a successful journey so far with lighter life. For me this book has a bit of everything but most of all is highly entertaining and if like me and Pauline you are a woman of a certain age,I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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on 11 September 2012
I've always liked Pauline Quirke. I've not really watched all the TV programmes that she has featured in, but from what I have seen, she is funny, a great actress and comes across as an ordinary, warm and friendly person.
In January 2011, Pauline was approached by the company LighterLife, to try their weight-loss programme. At this time, Pauline was working on the Emmerdale programme. Her weight was almost 20 stone and this offer was what she needed to take drastic action.
This book is mainly about the year of 2011, when Pauline managed to lose 8 stone in weight on the LighterLife plan, and she states it's not for the faint-hearted.
Along with this, Pauline talks about her career, her memories, her friendships and being at home with her family. Being at home with her family is where she is at her happiest.
This is a really good read. Pauline talks about her diet, but the book doesn't get bogged down with every bit of detail about the LLP. She also talks about her career, but not in an indepth way. At the end of the day, her family are her biggest achievement and her adoration for them is what shines through.
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