Book Review: Are We Nearly There Yet? – by Ben Hatch

After reading the first fourteen Jack Reacher novels back-to-back, I decided to take a short break (at an appropriate cliff-hanger) and try something else. I’ve bought a few books for the Kindle recently, mostly on a whim, and one of these was Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch.

In what could be considered a moment of madness, that Hatch family accepted a contract with Frommer’s which entailed them spending months touring the length and breadth of the country in a Vauxhall Astra (or two Vauxhall Astras, as it turns out) researching free, family friendly attractions for the guidebook, Frommer’s Britain for Free.

The book is an all-too-honest account of Ben, his wife Dinah (quick, touch your nose three times) and their two pre-schoolers, Phoebe and Charlie’s 8,000 mile trek. It is full of funny, heart-warming, moving and genuinely sad moments as Ben takes breaks from the road trip to deal with the progressive illness of his father. On the train into work I found myself blinking heavily a few times, and on the train home I only just managed to stop myself bursting out laughing. I’m still wondering whose toothbrush that was?

As someone who has recently left Britain, at least for a while, I found real pleasure in relating to some of the places the Hatch family visited, and laughed at the quirkiness of all of the others.

This is a hugely entertaining book, written by a talented writer. If you’ve got kids, have experienced a road trip, have seen a Vauxhall Astra or have ever been to Britain, you’ll love it. Charming, with added faecal matter thrown in for good measure. Although not literally. But almost.


About djpaterson

Reader, Writer, Arithmeticer. Not always in that order.
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