Monday 8 April 2013

Sell The Pig by Tottie Limejuice

Isn't the title just wonderful? And what about the author's name?  Sell The Pig by Tottie Limejuice takes it's title from a saying that Tottie's Mother often uttered, the story behind the title and the author's name is contained in the story, and is just one of a series of amusing incidents that Tottie relates in the book.

What happens when dementia, depressed dipsomania and downright dottiness decide to uproot from the UK and move to France together.
Worried by the lack of care for her elderly mother in the UK, Tottie decides a new life elsewhere might be the answer.  'Sell The Pig' is a travel tale with a twist, describing with alternating humour and poignancy how a somewhat dysfunctional family decides to uproot and move to rural France.

I've read quite a few travel memoirs over the past few years, I particularly enjoy reading about the brave people who make that big decision to pack their bags and move abroad.  Most of the books that I've read in the past have been about people moving to Greece and the Greek Islands - most people know about my love of all things Greek.  This is the first book that I've read that is about moving over to France.

I was especially interested in reading Sell The Pig as the author previously lived right here in rural Lincolnshire, just 20 minutes away in one of the beautiful Wolds villages.  I travel through the Wolds when I'm working and those villages really are some of the prettiest places in England.

Sell The Pig is a fairly short book at just over 170 pages, but Tottie manages to pack so much information into them.  Despite the blurb above, the reader learns nothing at all about actually living in France, the book ends as Tottie and her companions finally arrive.  No, this story is about how they actually got there and is told with warmth, wit and humour.    It's fair to say that Tottie took on a huge task when she made the decision to uproot her mother, her brother and her elderly dog across the Channel.   Tottie's Mother was physically quite poorly and also suffered with vascular dementia, her brother is an alcoholic who has hoarded almost every possession that he has ever owned and wonderful Meic the dog is getting on in years too.  This was not an every-day move, this involved the disposal of two houses, the contents of three houses and making sure that the Pink House in France was suitable.

Tottie writes very well. The reader learns about her parents, her childhood and her career and it is clear that all of these factors have made Tottie into the resilient woman that she is today.  Overcoming her fear of flying to search out a property in France, dealing with her brother and his problems and ensuring that her Mother is medically cared for was no easy tasks.  Throughout the story, Tottie has her faithful companion Meic the dog to care for too.

This is a great read, it will make you laugh in places and at times it will make you feel very frustrated and angry, especially when reading about the treatment that Tottie's Mother received in some of the care homes in the UK.

                   The Pink House                                  The garden at The Pink House                         Meic

Tottie Limejuice is the pen-name of Lesly Tither, a freelance copywriter and copy editor who lives in the Auvergne region of Central France.
Follow Tottie on Twitter here, or check out her Facebook page here.
Tottie also has a website and blog 

Sell The Pig is available to buy from Amazon.  For local Lincolnshire readers, the book will be available in the MR BIG (Market Rasen Business Improvement Group) shop in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.

My thanks to Tottie for sending a copy of her book for review.

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