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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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 7 September 2014
Rafael Barker writes so well and with a great sense of humour about all the small and large decisions her heroine, Venetia Summers, is forced to make whilst trying to control her unruly children. Charles her ex husband, has another family now and condescends to see his children occasionally. Venetia herself finds herself having to rely only upon her own resources whilst David, her new lover,has disappeared into the rain forest. Funny and endearing, this is definitely a good all round read, not marred by too much sentiment, just enough.
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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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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 18 August 2014
As always Rafaella Barker never dissthapoints. I loved Hens dancing and really enjoyed Summetime, I wish she would write another sequal to these two amazing books. It was funny, moving and very descriptive of the north norfolk area, anyone who likes norfolk should read this and the first book. a great read
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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 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 29 June 2014
I downloaded 2 of Raffaella Barker's novels following a recommendation from a respected friend.

Having read this one, I do not like Raffaella Barker's style very much. To be honest, I considered the book contained an abundance of very silly, affected, middle class twaddle, with dialogue rather along the lines of, "Look Mummy, the cat's been sick in the Beouf Bourgignon again". Unlike Jilly Cooper's similar genre novels, I found only 1 passage mildly funny in 'Summertime', there was no 'Laugh out Loud' factor.

For me, a book has to leave me feeling better off, either through educating me or through lifting my spirits. This book did neither. I will, however, read the novelist's 'Hens Dancing' book (that was the one recommended to me) hoping that I will like it better.
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on 20 February 2005
What a fabulous read. I managed to find this book in New York, my first time with this author. I am only sorry I didn't read Hens Dancing first. It is a very true to life story about a divorced housewife struggling with the balance of bringing up children, taking care of pets and starting a new career from home. Venetia is a little eccentric to say the least and charming with it. Her description of the countryside, the flowers, the woods, made me feel so nostalgic. I really love this character and epecially like her mother. It made me laugh out loud.
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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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