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on 19 July 2013
This is one of those books that is addictive - it's funny, its moving and is a subtle take on life which I could easily relate to. As Sally moves from the 'taking each other for granted and knowing each others faults' to the recognition that sometimes those very quirks are what drew us to a person in the first place, she was a character I could empathise with and like. And there were so many 'oh yes, I've done that' moments that made me smile, from the groper to the mad red setters (I'll leave you to discover more yourself!).
I started reading on a short haul flight and finished it on the beach - and now I want to read the next book in the series!
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on 20 February 2018
a great book bought as a gift for someone who had read other books by the author.
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on 17 July 2013
Thank goodness for the heatwave - the perfect excuse for sitting back and reading another of Sue and Jane's witty, captivating novels. Not that I need an excuse to lose myself in one of Sue's stories ... her characters find themselves in situations that are all too familiar for us fifty-somethings but their solutions are novel and entertaining. I read Plotting for Beginners in one sitting (if you don't count comfort breaks and refreshment top-ups)and felt bereft when I came to the end. Thank goodness Plotting for Grownups is ready and waiting...
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on 21 February 2017
loved this book, quite different in style to most light chick-lit novels. Bought the next one straight away!
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on 14 June 2013
Have read this book twice now - enjoyed it both times and even on second read made me smile, laugh out-loud, and occasionally grimace with identification of ageing experiences! Enjoyed diary format and the fact that, although a light read, had to reach for my dictionary a few times (good for grey cells) and now want to discover more about Thoreau. Looking forward to sequel.
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on 18 June 2013
Discovered this gem a few years ago whilst on holiday. This book is an entertaining and fun read, could have done with a dictionary at times ( I had only English to Spanish) which makes the e book and Kindle edition even better. For me though, it offers an insight into the lives and thoughts of middle aged women......I can now see why Gus needed to spend a year in a log cabin. Thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 17 November 2013
Enjoyed this book immensely. First time reading on an iPad and it was a good experience. Will try another book by the authors.
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on 23 February 2013
Really looked forward to this as I loved another Sue Hepworth book I had read. However, it was just like reading a boring diary so gave up on it!
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 April 2016
I have read the two books in this series in the wrong order but it didn't affect my enjoyment of either. This is the first of the two novels about Sally who is a woman in her early forties, living in the Peak District, and trying to make a success of a writing career,

In this novel Sally's husband leaves her to spend a year in America living "off the grid" to get in touch with his own spirituality or creativity. After a mild argument at the airport she gets the impression that their marriage might be over and so faces a year on her own with the intention of getting a writing career activated. The book takes us through that year and is told in diary format (always a favourite of mine) with snippets of her writing for magazines also included.

I am sure that the descriptions of the trials and tribulations of getting published are real - if a little exaggerated in places. They certainly seems real. They lead to amusing situations where Sally has written an article for a magazine and then has to back it up as real when mostly it came from her imagination. She gets more and more articles published and then is invited to appear on local radio. It seems like hard but rewarding work.

In her family life things are also complicated. Her brother moves in and his idiosyncrasies add to the humour as well as his friend offering definite opportunities to stray. There is also the local village and its inhabitants to contend with who know her very well and also know that much of what she has written is not as true as she makes out that it is.

This is a fun and amusing story. It's the story of a woman starting to make her own life and struggling with all that that means in the way of challenges, problems and opportunities. It reminds me a little of Trisha Ashley's novels although this one is firmly set in the Peak District which is lovingly (and accurately) described.
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on 4 November 2008
An undemanding read and apart from being very funny in places does not have much of a story.
It was more along the lines of Bridget Jones Diary, although nothing like as good in my opinion. It is the diary, plus a few emails of Sally Howe, fifty plus, menopausal and an aspiring writer. Her husband has taken a one year sabbatical from their thirty plus year marriage and gone to live in the wilderness.
Her plans for the year were to make a success of her writing by getting her work published. She does succeed in her aim, well sort of but not without some amusing distractions. She does not have the chance to be lonely, or even enjoy the peace and quiet. With her brother turning up to stay and a cast of others vying for her attentions, she has plenty of material to use for her writing.

Some of whom are very amusing characters; whose portrayals by Sally in her diary were the reason I kept reading. Worth reading if you do not expect more than a good laugh.
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