Book Review: My Family And Other Animals – By Clare Balding

My Animals and Other Family_Clare Balding

The blurb:

“Candy was my mother’s boxer and the pecking order was clear. In terms of affection and attention, Candy came first and anyone else, new baby included, came second. I adored her and she responded with an immediate, unquestioning sense of duty. She allowed herself to become a real-life baby walker as I used her to climb to my feet, wobbling on my plump little legs as she pulled me gently forward. 

It was a comfort that Candy was so protective. You see, I was a disappointment from the minute I popped out and there’s not a thing I could do about it. 

‘Oh,’ said my grandmother, it’s a girl. Never mind, you’ll just have to keep trying.'”

Why did I choose to listen to this book?

Firstly, from a personal perspective I knew just how important animals are in our lives regardless of age. I had known about her love of animals since she had been a well-known horse racer, but didn’t quite realise just how many animals she had had in her life.

Secondly, reading this was like entering into new territory for me as I’m not keen on sports autobiographies. Balding has done so much more than just sport, she’s a journalist and tv and radio presenter. From the tv shows I’ve seen her on, I’ve more or less assumed that she would be as funny as she is presenting as she would be in her autobiography.

What do I think about this book?

Firstly, it was better than I expected. It was far side-splittingly funny and far less stuck up than I thought it would be. I never expected to find out that Balding was a mischevious child and found herself in trouble a fair few times, as on telly she seems rather sensible. Looks can be decieving and a tv show can be edited to iron out anything that crosses the line and becomes too cheeky. Typically, she blamed most of the trouble she got into on her younger brother. I’ve been in this position involving my brother (4 years older), so it’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who is subjected to this sibling-inflicted torture.

Secondly, and more importantly was Balding’s connection to the animals that she lived with and the relationships she created with them. She even called them her therapists. She looked after them and found consolation from them, and they in turn did the same for her. This only makes the book even more heartwarming.

To conclude, if you really love horses, dogs and british humour then this is the book for you. It comes highly recommended.



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