Thursday, 23 January 2014

BritMums Book Club: My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding

There are not many things I miss about my pre-baby life but if I had to pick something, it would be the time to get lost in a book. I used to read lots but the last few years a lot less so, and I miss it. I'm going to try and make reading a part of my routine again though and a book a week seems a fairly realistic goal ( if Finchy can manage it surely so can I?!)

Having no real special interest in horses, or Clare Balding, or sport in general really, Clare Balding's autobiography is not a book that I would normally choose for myself. However from the high accolades on the cover it did look promising. Last week I wasn't well so had a sofa day and took the opportunity to pick it up and have a read. Well I was hooked from the very start and ending up reading it cover to cover in a day while the girls had a Disney movie watching marathon. I loved it. I never quite got 'horsey' people before, but this book has certainly opened up my eyes to see horses in a new light. I learnt a lot too, about jockeys, and the Grand National, about why we measure horses in hands, about furlongs, about the upper classes, about the Queen (she takes her tea black) - it was a peek into a world I know very little about and had me captivated the whole way through. 

Clare's honest description of her seemingly privileged and idyllic childhood had me in tears at points and her relationship with each of her animals was heartfelt . She is a brilliant natural storyteller and there are some very funny anecdotes in the book as well as some good life lessons.

I'll definitely be paying more attention to Clare when I spot her on the telly now, she came across very warm and funny in her book and I would recommend it to anyone. 

Disclaimer: I was sent my copy of the book for free, all opinions are my own

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