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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 October 2013
I got bored of this book. I don't like to pack in half way through but I wasn't interested anymore.
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on 8 August 2014
An extraordinary year in the life of one 50-year-old woman, told in diary form. This is a wry, touching and sometimes laugh out loud story of an “ordinary” family navigating the process of fostering a child that looks at the big events as well as the tiny that take place in all of our lives over the course of a year. By breaking it down into such small parts (days) the author is able to convey the ordinariness of it and the way that, in real life, big things happen in such small increments that you’re hardly aware of how big they are until you look back.
This is, in many ways, a very intimate book and by the end I felt as if I knew the author, her husband, kids and the entire foster system myself. As a great admirer of those who foster children, I was inspired by her story, by the perseverance she showed and by the sacrifices the family made, all with (relatively) good humor. And impressed that she was able to come out of it all with her ability to laugh at herself intact. Maslin’s self-deprecation and dry humor are, to me, very reminiscent of Anna Quindlen’s.
I almost didn't download the book because of some of the comments made by other reviewers about editing and formatting. I guess this is a new edition because there were literally no typos or editing issues in my copy…and I’m a stickler for that sort of thing. This is a touching, funny and ultimately inspiring story and I highly recommend it.
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on 6 August 2013
I have recently finished reading The Binary Year on Kindle and have found it a compelling and entertaining read. Anna Maslin allows the reader to accompany her on a year of her family life, starting in 2011, with all its highs and lows. We are given an insight into her concerns for all her family members as she herself faces early retirement from a high-flying career, the application process for fostering children and the swift arrival of a foster family of several siblings. It is not a story about an average family but a rather extraordinary family yet, at the same time, Anna shows the vulnerability of her own feelings and experiences as she bravely takes on the new challenge of being a foster parent alongside her husband. Anna is prepared to risk her comfortable family life in order to offer less privileged children the security and stability which her own children have enjoyed. It is not without its challenges and yet there are humourous moments and uplifting breakthroughs when all the hard work pays off. What makes this book so appealing? I think it is the way in which Anna is prepared to bare her inner thoughts and feelings and share her moments of weakness and frustration. A great read! I hope there will be more of the same.
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on 28 October 2012
I downloaded this book when I saw a link saying it was currently free on Amazon - although I certainly would not mind paying for it.

I loved the way the book was written in diary format, with some entries being relatively short and others longer. I could not put down my Kindle while reading this book - it was most inconvenient that I have to work and could only read it for half an hour on my lunch break each day !

It certainly gives a great insight into the fostering process - I did not realise the full extent of the 'upheaval' for want of a better word, that prospective foster parents have to go through before they are even accepted (poor Leo !)

That said, it definitely isn't a tale of woe - the humour in the book (provided mostly by the wonderful Lily) is great and I found myself laughing out loud at some parts. I would even bookmark certain pages so that I would read them to my partner when I got home from work.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and I will definitely be reading it again.
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on 15 May 2013
This fantastic book is written in a diary format and follows a year in the life of the protagonist, Anna. `The Binary Year' deals with a variety of issues, primarily the fostering process and other problems such as dyslexia. The author obviously has a great talent for writing in this format, as it is very easy to read and understand.

Right from the start I was captured by this wonderful story and couldn't put the book down. I read the entire book in just a few days and thoroughly enjoyed it. The storyline is compelling and enticing with lots of twists and turns along the way. Without giving too much away, I think the ending to this book is good and wraps the story up well. It really is an insight into a year of someone's life that is very interesting.

There are a great variety of characters, and even though some of the issues it addresses are really quite serious, the book does not lack in humour or comedic moments. The characters are very realistic and relatable, which is one of my favourite things about this book. I think Maslin manages to get the perfect balance between humour, drama and insight into life.

One of the greatest things about this book is that it would be a good read for a lot of different people. I am a student and thought it was great, but I also think it would be suitable and insightful for parents, social workers and many other people.

I took somewhat of a risk on this book, having not read anything from this author before, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of her work in the future. I would highly recommend this fantastic book and have already passed it on to my friend to read.
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on 8 August 2014
I did not know what to expect with this book as the title gives nothing away. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I found myself really enjoying it. I like the way the book is written. I have not read many books in this kind of format before and in that respect, I found the book compelling and unique. "The Binary Year", was very easy to read as the information flowed smoothly. I could identify with the author in many respects especially as "a mother rambling on about her kids". Faced with retirement and the dilemma of what to do, Anna decides to foster kids with her husband. We see her go through the highs and lows of fostering with lots of humorous episodes. I have never really considered fostering but this book has given me an insight into what it entails. This is a brilliant book for anyone who may be considering fostering, you will learn from someone who has actually experienced it first-hand. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to others.
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on 8 January 2014
I downloaded this book which was free at the time because I had made a connection with the author through Twitter. It's all about a year in the life of Anna and her family. Anna finds herself contemplating retirement at the young age of 50 but also considering fostering several children. I never realised how long and arduous the process of fostering is and how much it costs families (financial/emotional) to have one's house in order even before the prospective foster parents are approved. One of Anna's daughters is Lily, she's the youngest and she is so witty! She was incredibly articulate for such a young person. Anna and her family are generous in nature and in spirit. What luck to be fostered by this family.
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on 11 June 2015
The Binary Year was recommended to me by a friend. Although books in diary format are not usually something I would read I really enjoyed this one. The story feels very personal because it's a diary and you feel like you get a real insight into a year in her life. It was interesting to see the struggles that someone can face when starting to be a foster carer and in a way you see them first hand due to the nature of the story.

Overall The Binary Year is excellent and unlike anything I have read previously. I will actually look into more diary based books now as I really enjoyed the format here.
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on 7 August 2014
The Binary Year follows the story of Anna and her family as she embarks on a journey that changes her entire life. Retiring from a successful but familiar career she decides to foster children with her husband. The book, written in a series of diary entries, shows a big insight into the process of fostering as well as the arrival of her new foster children. It shows the lows of fostering with some challenges to overcome yet they’re contrasted with so many highs making the book a positive one. The humour throughout the book is great and made it hard to put down! I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 11 December 2012
I downloaded Kindle For Mac from Amazon to read 'The Binary Year.' What a fabulous read. It's written as a diary and takes you through the day to day lives of, a not so ordinary family. It touches on Dyslexia (Something I know a lot about) in a much more positive way than I was brought up with. It made me smile, sad, think deeply and smile again. It is so easy to know the family, to feel for them, and applaud them.

I have asked Santa for a real Kindle for Christmas, and will be looking out for more great reads by Anna Maslin.
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