Sometimes the enormity of renovating a house with insufficient funds and little help seemed overwhelming. She saw her husband infrequently. Their English neighbour was imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges. And when Terry developed a condition that brought him close to death, the dream threatened to turn into a nightmare. There were times when Susie and Terry seemed to be taking two steps backward, but the kindness of the local community and the tranquillity of the landscape inspired them to make a new life for themselves and their animals in the place they now called home.
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(198mm x 128mm x 20mm)
Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Two Steps Backward is not just the title of this, Susie Kelly's second book - it also aptly describes the ups and downs experienced by the author when restoring an old French farmhouse and building a new life in rural France. Susie and her husband Terry are financially ruined when they buy a French farmhouse in need of some serious work. To earn the money to pay for restoration, Terry remains in England, leaving Susie living in a house with no running water, dirt floors and sheets of polythene in place of windows and doors. As well as struggling with the peculiarities of her new home, Susie also cares for an ever-increasing number of animals, all of which have their own foibles and quirks. Susie recounts her story with warmth and humour, conjuring a wealth of evocative descriptions and detailed snippets of her new life in the Poitou-Charentes region. The book is packed with amusing anecdotes and characters and the small tragedies that she must overcome. This is an easy, uplifting read, and Susie's accessible, chatty style will captivate readers and, no doubt, inspire others to seek out their own piece of rural France! (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Susie Kelly
Susie Kelly emigrated from London to Kenya with her parents at the age of seven, and endured a convent education until she was expelled for refusing to devote her Saturday mornings to making doll's clothes, as she preferred to go horse riding. In 1975 she returned to live in England with a husband and two small children. Since then she has acquired a second and much better husband, a fine son-in-law and four gorgeous grandchildren - Catherine, Jamie, Jasmine and Leonie. Home is an ancient farmhouse, in the process of renovation, in southwest France, shared with a menagerie of goats, horses, dogs, cats, parrots and fish. She is the author of Best Foot Forward and Two Steps Backward, and A Perfect Circle.