Start reading The diary of a single parent abroad on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The diary of a single parent abroad [Kindle Edition]

Jill Pennington
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $4.50 What's this?
Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $12.96 (93%)
Kindle Unlimited Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 600,000 titles. Learn More

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $0.99  
Paperback $13.95  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 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?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 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
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of The Diary of a Single Parent Abroad April 24, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved the book, Having been to Italy many times and always wanting to live there and to turn into an Itailan this book is a wonderful reality. I grew up on a farm so she has a real handle on reality. The children are delightful and sensitive.
I want to read the sequel.............. I want a humorous movie made.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves Italy, loves family, loves renovations, loves the incredible spirit of mothers and women.
I say buy the book, buy four and give three to your favorite women!
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 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.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Of course I loved this book, totally inspiring and such a funny warm woman.
Published 1 day ago by Lisa Chiodo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book.
Such a great read, I could not put it down. Literally had me laughing out loud in places. My only disappointment was that it had to come to an end. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Lisa Ransley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! A wonderful look into the life and ...
Great book! A wonderful look into the life and adventures of an inspiring woman who moves to a small village in italy and carves a new life for herself. Not to be missed!
Published 16 days ago by marjorie Donofrio
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but missing something
It was an interesting story and started off really good. I found myself losing interest when she got bogged down in details about the animals. Read more
Published 2 months ago by misssweettea
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic !
I could not put this book down. A humorous look at making lemonade from lemons. I hope there will be more books by Jill Pennington in the future.
Published 4 months ago by Janet Stephenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Diary of a single parent abroad
This was a very well written book that kept my attention to the very end and left me wanting more.
Published 4 months ago by Linda Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable memoir of an amazing woman and her children
Jill Pennington writes a story that easily be read as excellent fiction, but sadly it isn't - it's true. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Janet Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars La (not so) Dolce Vita!
Okay, so her husband dumped her (and his kids) but he did it in a rather unusual way. He didn't just move in with one of their female friends. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Whistlers Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable woman. Astonishing story.
Jill Pennington is a remarkable woman, and this is an astonishing story. Most people, in Jill’s situation, would probably return to the security and familiarity of the life they... Read more
Published 5 months ago by George Mahood
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, often funny tale that is honest and straight talking
The Diary of a Single Parent Abroard by Jill Pennington was published in June 2013. I have enjoyed this tale of an adventure that turned out very differently from the initial plan. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lincs Reader
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

My name is Jill Pennington, I am a 'Britalian' originally from Yorkshire (England) and now living in Italy. I have three teenage children and a small farm in Emilia Romagna. I have written about life in the Italian mountains and have a follow up blog on facebook.

Facebook blog -

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category