Book review: Hippy Dinners by Abbie Ross

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

I did it: I found the perfect summer read. (Actually, I didn't do it, I got a free copy through Penguin via Britmums' Summer Book Club, but still).

It is Hippy Dinners by Abbie Ross.

Ross takes us through her childhood, starting with her parents' move from London to Wales. This is not just a move for the sake of it: it is a deliberate move on the part of her parents, a chance to embrace a new way of being, an opportunity for a slower pace of life. The book chronicles the interesting people that they shared their lives with, and the beautiful place in which they lived.

This book had such a delicious, warm feeling about it. She captures the beauty of her home town and paints her childhood adventures so vividly: from exploring the land around their home to, er, interesting games of doctors and nurses with her little sister. Some moments had me laughing out loud: others had me curling up and revisiting my old golden childhood adventures, her adventures triggering my own memories.

Throughout the book, she deals with what it feels like to be a child: the hierarchy of the playground and how you find your place, the need for normality and stability, and the feeling of helplessness in the face of your parents decisions. I identified powerfully with that, particularly the ending (which obviously I won't spoil for you), which had me in tears remembering a very similar moment in my own life.

It took me back: right back, to when things were more innocent, and yet a lot more confusing. She captures that so well, the age between being blissfully ignorant to the adult world, and being grown-up enough to fully understand what is going on. At that age, sometimes the actions of grown-ups can be confusing and hard to read, and your mind sometimes makes things up to fill the gaps. Ross's story of her parents and their new friends explores that: those in-between places you find yourself in, whether in age or place.

In short: if you want a good, warm, funny, poignant read: this is the one for you. You can buy it here. I'll also link Ross's Twitter account here (I have sent her a few gushing tweets and she has been lovely about it...!)

Thank you Britmums for the lovely #summerbookclub read!

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