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I have waited patiently on Fat Dogs and French Estates 5 and it’s another winner from Beth. It’s a delightful read and wonderfully entertaining. Life on the estate is full of excitement and surprises. Who said life in the country was dull? I love Beth’s marvellous descriptions of certain events which are guaranteed to make you laugh. It was a joy to meet some old friends and be introduced to new ones. She writes with such warmth about the friendly, funny and eccentric neighbours and I can see why she and Jack have been taken to their hearts. It’s hard work running the estate and not everything goes to plan with several upsetting incidents during the year. Again, these are described so vividly they will bring a tear to your eyes – they did to me. There are a couple of ferocious pheasants, a gaggle of geese and other lovely, feathered friends. Their doggy menagerie grows and it was just lovely to read how Max and Aby came into their lives. I love that pair! And Hunter as well. Not forgetting little (at that time) Tripod the wild boar. I love the historical descriptions too – what a fascinating area to live. I could just picture some of those trips as Beth’s writing is so descriptive. It’s a fabulous series warm, witty, and just brilliant.
A candid and delightful account of Beth and Jack's eventful life in France. From heart in your mouth moments to laugh out loud moments and everything in between, this book takes you on a journey of the highs, lows, frustrations , euphoria and realism of rural life and all it entails. Think of the series The Good Life but on a much larger scale! Beautifully written with magnificent evocative descriptions and packed with humour I felt as if I knew each character, humans and animals alike, and their unique individual and quirky personalities. I had no idea of the sheer selfless effort involved in animal conservation and the author details it all so perfectly, the perils along with the rewards that come with sustained perseverance, hard work and passion for the animal kingdom. Sensitive, with many giggle moments and superb imagery, I would highly recommend. This series of books would make a highly entertaining, fun, educational, endearing and uber interesting TV series!
Prior to reading Beth and Jack's latest adventures at La Palizac, I decided to re-read parts 1-4 to re-acquaint myself with the previous goings-on. I was totally immersed and lost in their world. Part 5, well what can I say? We have all been on tenterhooks awaiting the release of Beth's latest book and it did not disappoint. With Beth's unique writing and storytelling skills, the book is full of life, excitement and wonder. Life on the country estate is not easy and does not run as smoothly as big soft, curmudgeon Jack would like, nevertheless, he would not swop his lifestyle for the world. Who said life was easy? We are reacquainted with familiar neighbours, all who have larger than life characteristics, introduced to new people who come into their lives. We also see the addition of many new animals into their lives, non more welcome than Beth's new Australian Shepherd Dogs, what beauties they are. Beautiful Aby with her gentle ladylike ways and poor smiling, accident-prone Max who likes nothing more than to belly flop into the water, any water. Along came happy little Tripod, the three-legged baby wild boar along with Hunter the poor Hunting Dog they found on the side of the road and nursed back to health. Other new animal additions include pheasants, geese, chickens, rabbits. With all the warrens and pens to build, fences to repair and maintain, electric fences to install there is never a dull or quiet moment around the forest and gardens. Yes, there is a lot of work involved but it is an idyllic life immersed in the beautiful French countryside. It is so easy to see why the people have taken Beth and Jack into their hearts and welcomed them into their lives and also why they themselves love life at La Palizac so much. I love the cover and little animal caricatures marking the beginning of each chapter along with the History that Beth always manages to weave into her story. The forest, markets and characters are all brought to life with Beth's descriptive writing. All of this adds up to a truly amazing book and once again I thank you, Beth. Highly recommended.
Well worth the wait Part V brings even more fun and frolics to the lives of the lovely and game for anything Beth and her long suffering but talented husband Jack. In addition to Brutus their easy going cat and the Chickens,Wild Boar and Pheasants from part IV we get to meet two lovely new pups Australian Shepherd dogs to fill the void left by Sam and Biff and join her on her walks around their domain and providing lots of funny stories of their antics as they grow. More feathered friends to add to their menagerie either bought or donated by friendly farmers under the usual protestations by Jack who nevertheless ends up taking great interest and is very helpful to Beth in rearing this ever increasing load against his unsucessful determination and desire for a peaceful and restful retirement! Their social life with wonderfully descriptive characters who fill their new lives and a glorious insight in to the area in which they live makes this very gifted writer a pleasure to read. Her way with words and sense of humour are second to none. She leaves me impatiently wanting Part VI to be written as soon as possible as there must be loads more to tell...
Another rattling good read in the series Fat Dogs and French Estates from the pen of gifted author Beth Haslam. The superb front cover designed by talented Maggie Raynor says it all, this is a fun book! Beth has a wonderfully relaxed writing style that draws you in from the very first page and holds you close to the very last. As I caught up with the latest Haslam household adventures I felt like an old friend invited back for a convivial reunion. Catching up with the gossip, sitting beside Beth in the garden on Sammy Swingseat with a glass of wine, watching the sunset! Jack’s dream of a graceful retirement is still just a dream as each day brings more surprises and unexpected challenges. These two throw themselves into life on their French domain with enviable enthusiasm and a terrific ‘can-do’ attitude. Nothing seems to phase them and Beth’s lovely warm personality and sense of fun shines through on every page. Life is an unpredictable rollercoaster of a ride with rewarding highs, frustrating lows and everything imaginable in between. For the first time we meet the gloriously named puppies Gemstone Palizac du Calestra and Gauthier Palizac du Calestra aka adorable furry mutts Max and Aby, and what a joy they are! Beth’s extraordinary empathy with animals is never more apparent than in her relationship with the timid three-legged baby boar Tripod. It is both moving and inspirational. Add to the mix an eclectic group of friends and neighbours and you have all the ingredients of an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable read. Beth is extraordinary; a resilient and fun person, a gifted writer and a truly kind lady with a great big heart.
My review is for the series books 1-5. I bought the series 1-3 loved them so bought 3 and 4 as I had to find out the rest of Beth and Jack's adventures. Beth and Jack decide to buy a second home in France with a wood.!! Beth writes in a humorous and entertaing way on how the best laid plans can get in the way of true life. Husband Jack is a bit grumpy not into animals or people but the love they have for each other shines through. Beth describes the local area the people they meet and their animals in such a way the area will be on your 'to visit' list. Their neighbours become dear friends. You will feel tired just reading about their daily trials and tribulations but you will also smile and sometimes cry and be so pleased at the end of every book that there is another one to read. I am only sad book 6 is not yet out.
I was so very sorry when I came to the end of this book. I wanted the story to keep going. It is a wonderful book and Beth and her husband are amazing people who love all animals. You can feel their sorrow when any of their animals is not well. They lead such an interesting life in France and both work very hard on their estate. They attend many local festivals. Beth'husband Jack is a lovely man though he pretends he is a grumpy old man. I love reading about their day to day life in France and I am hoping that Book 6 in this series will soon be out. If you have not read any books in this series, do start at Book 1. I highly recommend this book.
From the first pages and the amusing story of the doctor’s waiting room, through problems with electric fences, baby pheasants, new pups and numerous trips to the vets, a three-legged wild boar, and a crotchety husband, this is Beth Haslam in her element. She deftly weaves stories and descriptions, travels and tales together into a feast of a book which was a delight to read. The book is also beautifully formatted, with little caricature drawings at the start of each chapter. The only downside – I’ve finished reading it, and now I am impatient for another book in this delightful and entertaining series! Highly recommended.
Just finished #5. Couldn’t put it down, loved every word. Beth of bringing everything to life, you are there in the moment with her. Jack is very patient, and a secret softy with the animals. Loved her visits to markets, you really get a feel of them. Max brought a smile and a giggle with his antics. Aby is a lady , or at least thinks she is. It was wonderful to visit old friends and to be introduced to new friends, Aby, Max and Tripod. Beth's vivid description is wonderful, she really has a way with words. I am friends on Facebook and she is always responding to posts etc. Waiting for #6, no pressure Beth.