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The diary of a single parent abroad [Kindle Edition]

Jill Pennington
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $4.50
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Book Description

When Jill and her family moved to Italy she expected life to change but she had no idea how massive that change would be. Shortly after the move, she discovered her husband had been having an affair and had no intentions of staying in Italy.

Despite being in a foreign country with no income, limited language skills, a house that needed rebuilding and three young children to care for, she never once considered returning to the UK. With strength and determination she accepted any challenge, dismantling a derelict house to ground level, digging out a three metre deep well with her hands to get free water and overcoming her fear of the chainsaw to cut the winter wood. When there was very little money for food she made risotto with nettles collected from the roadside. She overcame many problems, learned new skills and discovered that money is not important, the only things in life that matter are health, happiness and her children.

Jill's story is delivered with an ever present hint of humour because, as she says, 'Without laughter life wouldn't be funny'.

Product Details

  • File Size: 316 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00871I0XS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,533 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw, honest, real June 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic story with a frustrating abrupt ending. Of course, life is like this book - things don't turn out perfectly and there isn't a nice little bow to tie it up with. As another reviewer said - sequel please!

As with most self published books, this one could've used some content editing to separate the wheat from the chaff, but quite enjoyable, especially the everyday person's perspective instead of the rich/privileged expat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, charming book. September 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A good touch of humor runs throughout this wonderful memoir of a woman making a new life in Italy. It really was a new life also; she all of a sudden has to raise the kids all by herself. For me it's a real example in courage and persistence. The place she describes living at in Italy, I do wish I lived at.

Needless to say, this is a story that I'm finding very difficult to put down. While there a number of sad things that happens she manages to keep her sense of humor all the way through. I really consider a very uplifting story. Anyone can overcome just about any obstacle in their life.

I did receive a review copy of the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff! September 18, 2013
By Tots
Format:Kindle Edition
I was very keen to read this, having "met" and chatted with Jill on Facebook and liked her frank and funny style there. I've also done the moving abroad thing, in my case with an elderly parent who had reverted to childhood through dementia and, mercifully, without the love-rat "Hubby" to contend with.

Loved the fast pace and the fact that there's nothing in there that doesn't need to be. Characters are beautifully drawn, you quickly feel you have got to know them and want to know more.

Lots of determination and grit to be admired and commended, so nice not to have to wade through another "expat discovers life wasn't as rosy as they hoped and spends endless chapters rubbishing their new host country without doing anything about it" type of book.

Frank and refreshing, a great read. Looking forward to the next one whilst busily writing the sequel to my own - come on, Jill, keyboards at dawn, which of us will finish the next instalment first?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The diary of a single parent abroad May 18, 2014
By Luci
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Jill Peningtons self published book in one sitting.Her story is real, and I can't remember when I last read such an honest account of life for someone struggling with so many issues that we might experience at some time in our own lives,
and with such a sense of humour and optimism.I found her story impressively informative given her financial difficulties were such a distraction.After having read so much about living abroad and all the learning experiences that are documented by writers I found this story encouraging,uplifting and at times truely hilarious
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another night of sleep vanished.... October 23, 2013
By Polly
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I began this book after supper one day expecting to read for a couple of hours and then put it down to go to sleep. Instead I welcomed the new day, with the lightening sky as I finished the last chapter. I did not expect to be captivated by this story but needless to say, I was.

I have read quite a few accounts of people living abroad and, in fact, that is how I spent the first 20 years of my own life. What I didn't expect is to become so involved with this writer and her children and the people who surround her in her adopted country, Italy.

Because this is a memoir I try to stay away from commenting on particular characters as they are real people, living and breathing humans (well some of them are). Let me just say that, in my opinion, this writer faced some amazing challenges with grace, humour and maybe a glass or two of wine.

I admire her ability to keep the health and welfare of her children at the forefront of each of her decisions. Hard to do when all the decisions and responsibilities fall onto a single set of shoulders. I admire her ability to find something to laugh about when other, more violent options, might feel preferable. In general, through some very trying times, our author raised 3 children from childhood to the cusp of their adult lives. We each make choices, that in hindsight we would change in the future, but that is never an option and we continue to make the best of each situation. It seems to me that this writer is very good at doing that.

I enjoyed learning about the renovation of two very different types of home. Being introduced to life in rural Italy, not one of the countries that I lived in though we did visit. Ms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sassy, irreverent, funny May 13, 2013
By Estelle
Format:Kindle Edition
Jill's account of ringing out her living from the Italian soil is raw, funny, and irreverent. She tells of arriving with barely a word of Italian and three children, and the path she follows, buying land and rolling up her sleeves to make it yield something, to running a veritable Dr Doolittle farm in her Yorkshire-accented Italian, acquired the only real way to do it, by total immersion. It is a fast-paced read, full of unlikely surprises and other down-to-earth realities of the kinds of wacky, unlikely and sometimes trying things that unravel in expat life. This book is a must for anybody who thinks 'Oh, if I could only buy a farm in Italy...'. It tells it like it really is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
As a rule I don't normally do "angry woman, all men are childish or evil" literature. However, a friend of mine
recommended the book so I bought it, (more out of... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love books that grab my attention and don't let go
I love books that grab my attention and don't let go. This is one of this books. Jill is a fabulous writer. I shared in her joys, her sorrows and anger at her rat bast***d ex. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Jill writes with honesty. I admire how she coped with challenges in her life. Setting the farm up and living off the land was never going to make her rich but she persevered. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jenny Stewart
This is an entertaining book showing warts and all of a woman moving her family to Italy. Things do not always go well. In fact, things never seem to go well at all. Read more
Published 4 months ago by murboyd
4.0 out of 5 stars For Italophiles who have considered part or fulltime living abroad
For those of us in love with Italy, here is a great story about someone who has moved there and survived despite deep hardships. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars What an inspiring woman!
I really enjoyed this book. Jill is an awesome woman. She has a special way of making you feel like you are there with her. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Char
3.0 out of 5 stars A good example of why editors are still around
Sorry but this potentially interesting account of learning to live in another culture is poorly written and proof of why book editors won't be out of a job soon. Read more
Published 4 months ago by buongustaio56
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful courageous lady, rotten husband.
I loved this true to life story by Jill Pennington. What a heroine. What a nasty low life husband! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dora M. Gourley
5.0 out of 5 stars Useless men
I liked this story, and I wish this woman luck. I know she said she didn't believe in God, but it is clearly evident He believes in her. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Northerngirl
4.0 out of 5 stars a must read!
What a great book. It involves heartbreak and true hardships faced with humor, confidence, and a sense of Dave.true. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Jill Pennington is a 'Britalian' originally from Yorkshire (England) and now living in Italy. She has three teenage children and a small farm in Emilia Romagna. She writes about life in the Italian mountains.

When not writing she enjoys, cooking, gardening, furniture renovation, walking and runs a small Glampsite from her farm.

Jill also writes under the collective pen name of Jilli Lime-Holt, together with authors Tottie Limejuice and Janet Holt. Their first joint book, Take Three Birds, was published in December 2014.

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