Friday, December 14, 2012

Heads Above Water by Stephanie Dagg

Thanks again to Stephanie for organising the 12/12/12 Blog Hop, I had a great time finding new blogs to read. Thanks also to all of you who hopped over, the winning name for the set of postcards is Claire from Word by Word, a fellow book lover, congratulations Claire.

Now to my review of Heads Above Water.  Somehow this book slipped down the back of my bookshelf, which is quite something for an ebook, so apologies to Stephanie as I really should have read it months ago. However I was the one who missed out as it is a very entertaining read.

There are many 'new life' in France books out there and some might say too many, but I say bring them on!  They all have a different story to tell, they all have a unique style, some are better written than others, some are more humorous than others and I've read my fair share of them all. This is one of the better ones, very funny and their story is different, I don't know too many llama farmers with fishing lakes too, do you? Stephanie had me crying with laughter right from the start of the book with the language faux pas and then there was the composting toilet issues, followed by the randy llamas and lots more funnies as they settled into their new life in rural France. Being an expat is certainly a life changing experience and not always easy, and I really liked that Stephanie brought a very personal touch to her story even including little extracts of the children's diaries from their first few months. Made me wish I had got Ed to do something like that too, but he was only three when we moved.

As well as telling their story of house hunting, buying, moving from Ireland and settling in with only basic facilities, she explains many local traditions along the way and gives plenty of information on some of the many French bureaucratic traditions too. Despite being here for eight years I learnt some new things, although I still find bells with wings just a little creepy.

Stephanie is one of those seemingly like minded women who writes things I enjoy reading and one day if we happen to find ourselves on the same cafe terrace I'm sure we could sit and natter for hours, and I would be a very happy lady.

As it is almost Christmas what don't you treat yourself to her book? Link to Amazon here.


  1. Oh Jacqui, thank you so much for that lovely review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it - that was it's point, to be entertaining. I live in hopes that we'll meet up at that café some day. And I also hope there'll be a book of your French adventures to read one day too.

    1. It was my pleasure Steph. I'm looking forward to your next book.


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