disclosure: we were sent this book as part of the BritMums Book Club in exchange for an honest review
I was lucky enough to listen to Abbie Ross speaking at BritMums Live in a session with Cesca Major and Amanda Jennings. As I’d read books from both of the other authors I was keen to read Hippy Dinners and was thrilled to have the opportunity via the BritMums Book Club.
Hippy Dinners is published through Transworld Books and is a humorous tale of growing up in rural North Wales in the early 1970s. By rights, I should have loved this book as I’m only a couple of years older than the author.
Abbie Ross and her family move from Islington to a farmhouse in rural Wales when she is 2 years old. Her parents turn their backs on the rat race in search of a simpler life, much to the annoyance of Abbie’s grandparents, who think they’ve moved to the ‘dark side’.
I could relate to Abbie’s desire to be ‘normal’ and fit in with everyone, I think most children feel that way. I know from experience how miserable things can be when you don’t fit in, but I had to deal with that when I was older when we moved from Surrey to Oxfordshire at the age of 14. I wasn’t dealing with quite the same issues as a youngster at school praying her parents don’t move into a hippy commune.
I’m not sure why I struggled with this book, but I just didn’t gel with it. I found I couldn’t remember the various school children’s characters from one night read to the next. Hippy Dinners just didn’t grab me. There were moments of shared memories – John Craven and Newsround. Oh yes, that did make me giggle. Especially as I turned into a quivering wreck when I pulled up next to him at Wendover Woods once. He actually lives close to the town I spent the second half of my teens in, we even bank at the same bank.
I guess in general, I lived a very different life in the 1970s. We lived in suburbia, my father worked in London, my mother was at home or part-time working. I don’t think either of them could have been classed as living the ‘hippy’ dream in any way, shape or form. We did have macaws and a cockatoo though – does that count?
The book is well written, I don’t have deep feelings either way after reading it. I’m sure others will love reading it, just not me.