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Butting heads in Spain by Diane Elliott

March 9, 2022

Oh what a lovely book this is! I was totally immersed in it from the first page and adored the stories, which are essentially anecdotes recalled while the author, Diane Elliott, is on a long and taxing trek. Not exactly a ‘moving abroad’ memoir, this book is very much about Diane’s transition from beginner goat mum to lady goatherder of experience and skill.

The animals are the heroes of the action driven largely by goatherder maestro, Antonio. There are magical moments, frightening accidents, uplifting scenes, nail-biting situations and downright terrifying events. And all the while, there is Diane’s wonderful husband, Pete, in the wings, working hard and supporting Diane’s progress, the animals’ wellbeing and, quite often, Antonio’s madcap schemes.

I loved the conversations Diane has with her marvellous matriarch, Chinni (the queen of all goats) and her beautiful, brave Carmen (the ewe), as well as her knights in shining armour, Monty and Paz (her dogs). I laughed at the selfish, sulky Alice (wannabe matriarch), whose fondness for fruit overcomes any manners she might ever have had. I cried at inevitable losses and cheered Diane on through her most nerve-wracking escapades. Now I’m sad and bereft to have finished it. Thank heavens there will be a second book to come! Very highly recommended indeed!

The link to the book on Amazon US is here, but it’s available on all other Amazon stores.


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