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Two Old Fools Down Under by Victoria Twead

July 14, 2020

Victoria Twead’s Two Old Fool books are a hugely popular series, and this one is as deserving of the praise it’s received as all the rest. It’s an immensely enjoyable, warm-hearted and interesting read.

What I most like about reading memoirs is learning something new about the places people choose to live and the people they meet. Well, I wallowed in all the new things I learnt about Australia from this lovely, personal account of Vicky and Joe’s move to the southern hemisphere. I knew the country had some substantial differences from Europe (and indeed anywhere in the world) in terms of wildlife and flora, but I didn’t realise to what extent they were different. I also knew Aussies had their own language and terms for things, but again, how different these can be was a surprise to me.

The story follows Vicky’s arrival in Australia and her challenges with finding a suitable home to receive Joe, who has had to remain in the UK for health reasons. It also includes her adventures in gaining a new puppy, and all the adjustments that living in a completely new country entail. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was fascinated by the detailed observations she made about life in the Antipodes.

The book is also quite a rollercoaster of emotions as she and Joe learn to cope with his medical conditions alongside the frustrations of renovating their house. Without giving any spoilers, I can admit I choked up a few times while reading it, but I also laughed out loud at some of their DIY adventures.

Written in the author’s friendly, conversational style, I almost felt as if I was reading her diary or letters to her family. This feeling was enhanced by the recipes that separate each of the chapters and the email correspondence from Spain, which gave a sense of continuity with their previous life. All in all, it was a terrific read. Highly recommended.

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