This isn’t the sort of book I normally read. But I’d heard good things about it, and when it was offered as part of the BritMums Book Club, I signed up.
That was in September, so it was a bit of a surprise when it arrived in December as I assumed I hadn’t made the list. I had, but the list hadn’t made the distribution centre…
This is a biography, a genre of which I have several other chunky tomes nestled in book piles that I’ve started with good intentions and abandoned within a few chapters, plus this one is mostly about horses and dogs, both of which being animals I have very little interest in. I’m also not particularly interested in sports in general.
However, I’m all for people battling against prejudice to achieve, and this book covers that well. In Balding’s world, being a woman was to be a second class citizen, but she triumphs in life by being herself. This is not an average upbringing – horses everywhere, private school, lunches with the Queen…
Written with tons of humour, and some great turns of phrase, this was a very easy book to read. Rather than being a straight forward chronological list of events, each chapter starts with the description of one of the animals in her life and an event or events of significance around the same time. For someone with no knowledge of racing, the book is packed full of explanation whilst never being dry or dull.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book, but I enjoyed it and found the world Clare Balding grew up in fascinating. Well worth a read, no matter what your usual reading genre is.
Disclosure: sent for review by Penguin Books via BritMums Book Club.