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4.5 out of 5 stars
26
4.5 out of 5 stars


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on 9 April 2014
This is one of my all time favourite, I adore all of Raffaella Barkers books, and she is my author of choice whenever I need escapism.perfect. Believable well drawn characters, I can identify with Venetia,the first book 'Hens Dancing' drew me into her world, and I would love a third please RB! :)
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on 5 May 2017
Just discovered Rafaella Barker. Love her books
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on 6 April 2017
Just a beautiful book for anyone who's a parent. Is funny, moving, wise and timeless. This book has given me so much pleasure and I always look forward to reading it again - more please!
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on 26 January 2003
I read this book on a plane and probably kept the whole plane awake as I laughed until I cried. As I am from Norfolk, where Venetia lives with her three children, I could imagine certain scenarios perfectly. My boyfriend read the book too, and also laughed til he cried, whilst commenting that the scary thing was he could just see me and numerous other people we know, turning out to be as haphazardly creative in our middle age as is Venetia. Ms. Barker makes the characters extremly lifelike and lovable and has an incredible sense of humour - you won't want to put it down!
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I love this book and am delighted that Barker chose to keep telling the story of Venetia and her family, started in "Hen's Dancing". It is a joy to read, it reminds me of the pleasures of being outdoors and the irritations of raising a family. It makes me laugh out loud and I am pleased to see that the Beauty (my favourite character) and my daughter are keeping pace nicely! I wish I hadn't already finished it and I demand more of the same!
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on 29 March 2001
I've read and re-read Hen's Dancing countless times and looked forward to this follow up tale of Venetia, the boys and The Beauty and especially David! I wasn't disappointed, even though David only pays fleeting visits to Venetia by email and crackly phone calls.
If I'm really enjoying a book I try to read it as quickly as possible - but I took my time with this one - I just didn't want it to end.
I hope this book is just the 2nd in a wonderful saga of family life - and not the last!
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on 13 February 2003
Absolutely fantastic. Picked it up by sheer coincidence and so glad I did. Like Venetia I am divorced and so identified with all the thoughts and feelings about the odious ex and his new 'family', the antics of the children and the well meaning friends!! I found myself just laughing out loud at the turn of every page. Totally believable characters whose daily lives probably reflect a little bit of all of us - this book is an absolute must on your reading list.
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on 9 December 2002
I really love this author. After the superb Hens Dancing I could not wait for this book to come out. All the characters are lovely and really well fleshed out and believable. Barker has an excellent eye for detail and descibes the children in the story and their moods and foibles so perfectly, that you really feel their joy and grief with them. The ex-husband is suitably odious and the new, pompous love interest is very funny, but its the tantilising relationship between Venitia and David, and the hysterical antics of The Beauty that really make these books a pleasure.
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on 22 March 2001
I had eagerly awaited 'Summertime', having enjoyed 'Hens Dancing' so much. It was hard not to gobble it all up in one sitting! Rafaella Barker has an unerring ear for children's dialogue. She captures both the glorious man/boy wisdom of the son looking after his wayward mother, and the magnificently imperious egocentricity of the three year old Beauty. Her heroine is beautifully batty but completely identifiable with, to the mothers among us! I look forward to Rafaella Barker having a long writing career!
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on 4 July 2007
I had no idea this novel was a sequel until today when I came to write a review for Amazon. I have never read any of her books before, but will probably look out for more now.
It is written in diary form over a period of six months by the heroine, eccentric Venetia whose life appears to be in a state of permanent chaos. She has no control over her three children Giles 11, Felix 9 and The Beauty 3 (yes really). To a great extent the children have learnt to look after themselves, but not without getting into some interesting scrapes! The little girl is precocious but the comments she comes out with will make you laugh I am sure. Some of the incidences are far from funny though, such as the children's behaviour at times and the way the animals get treated. Unless of course you have a warped sense of humour or maybe I am being too prim?
This is a book that will make you laugh at times though I am sure. Perfect read for summertime.
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