When Ben is commissioned to write a guidebook for families with young children, visiting hotels and attractions across the UK, he bundles his wife Dinah and his two under-4s into their ‘past-its-prime’ Vauxhall Astra and they all set off on an adventure that will see them travelling the length of the UK for 5 months.
I decided to pick this up on Kindle (88p when I did) as the sheer HORROR of even the concept of being stuck on the road with two kids under four was one that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Even a weekend would be too much for me to handle, I reckon!
I was expecting loads of travelling tips and stories about the attractions themselves – there were a few of these of course, but this isn’t the travel book itself, this is the story of researching that book. this is a story of family, of love, children, parents and compromise. This is extremely cleverly written, and very very funny. It is also very poignant.
Not only does Ben tell of his own relationship with his wife (and with his kids of course), but at a family party just before they embark on their great adventure, his dad doesn’t look too well (and subsequently declines), and this is very much the story of their relationship, both at the time he was writing and with stories from their past.
The natural humour that the book is written with helps move the story along, and makes this a very easy read – even when Ben is at his lowest (warning – there are tales of poo!) it is written with a laugh 🙂