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The Year of the Fox


Worth reading 😎

Enjoyed this down to earth, mildly amusing fictional memoir of life on a country property

 Nancy is a divorced middle-aged woman who's taken a great leap forward into the unknown - she's bought a rural acreage without so much as a cottage on it (or a bathroom). Now she'll have to organise a place to sleep, a toilet, water access and all the other amenities city dwellers take for granted. Luckily she's got a feisty female neighbour for moral support, and for eye candy, there's always the sexy-kneed farmer who owns the local creek.

I think this novel will appeal to any woman of a certain age who's taken on a new adventure in life - especially retirees and near retirees who have a yen to try a tree-change. Nancy's a relatable character who has plenty of pratfalls, but I get the sense that the author is speaking to (or for) the over-fifties rather than the slightly younger age-group (40 something?) to which Nancy belongs. There's a coziness about the style which would appeal to anyone who likes their fiction fairly safe, but also a sort of mischievousness - like an old lady who's decided to let it all hang out!

As a single woman living on acreage myself, I was interested in Nancy's ingenious arrangements - renovating a bus, constructing a toilet from a bin and a director's chair, tapping into the neighbour's water pipeline (although in my community, that would almost get you shot, and quite right too!). Her resourcefulness was admirable. I found the scenes where Nancy's luxuriating in the creek - or the outdoor bath - and the handsome neighbour happens along, a bit unlikely (would you really chat to a male neighbour you hardly knew while in the nude? Wouldn't a gentleman retreat and wait for you to get dressed?). I also found Nancy's drunken lack of diplomacy a bit offputting - she seems, at times, to have more mouth than sense. There is sometimes a sense of self-conscious naughtiness about 'Nancy Pants' that's at the same time sweet and slightly cloying.

In summary, this is a competently written, slightly old fashioned, sweet and at times informative novel about a single woman learning to find happiness - and self-sufficiency - on her own terms. I enjoyed parts of it, but it was a little too cozy for me.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.

Into the Big Green

About the author

MERREN TAIT didn’t know she had a writer lurking in her, but after studying literature, teaching literature, and sharing the love of it as a librarian, she figures it had only been a matter of time before the author within burst out. She lives at the foot of a mountain near Raglan, New Zealand. view profile

Published on September 04, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Chick Lit

Reviewed by