Are We Nearly There Yet? - Ben Hatch


It's a brave author who seeks me out as a book blogger to review his work. Particularly if previous reviews are less than glowing (my husband isn't convinced that I actually like reading). But Ben Hatch is braver than most - not many people would be keen to take on the challenge of driving 8000 miles around Britain with his young family to review tourist attractions for a guide book. He also seems like a nice bloke in real life (and self-deprecating in his book). So, though my reviews are blunt, my heart is not of stone and I was happy to join his Twitter publicity campaign. Not that he really needs it - 35 five star Amazon reviews can't be wrong, can they? It's usually just my lone voice whining in the wilderness.

So how fortunately that it's such a rewarding read. It helps, of course, that I can identify with the craziness of toddlers, the terror of Watership Down, the stress of merging on motorways. But it's also highly readable: a story well told, very funny in places and very moving in others. Balanced with the comedy and occasional disasters of the trip is a parallel tale of Ben's father's terminal illness. By examining his complex and often contradictory reactions to his dad's rapid decline, the book is given a greater depth. In the end, it's a convincing case for the importance of family - they might disagree with you, irritate you, embarrass you and disapprove of you but that's exactly why you love them.

In the interests of fairness, I will add that it could do with a second copy edit, and a proofread to pick up the usual formatting errors on Kindle. But hey, here's one for the reviews: I've given it the same score as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Gatsby".

1 comment:

  1. Honoured indeed he should be. A 3 paragraph review! Sounds rather wonderful. Maybe you could persuade him to do one of France for us... Bx