My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASE DATE: January 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin | Muswell Press
Frustrated by a dead end job, fed up with renting and the loathsome daily commute and, to cap it all, failing to make it as a stand-up comedian, Tommy Barnes was at breaking point. But he didn t break – instead he made himself redundant and took off to France with girlfriend Rose to pursue his dream of brewing beer. Settled in a dilapidated house in the Loire they are beset by calamities (mainly of Tommy s making), mad neighbours and an unexpected pregnancy. Not to mention, Burt the Satanic dog who truly has it in for his master. Featuring colourful characters, a stunning location a collection of beer recipes, this is an irresistible feast of humour and heart.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of A Beer in the Loire in exchange for an honest review.
Tommy and Rose have taken a redundancy from their office jobs and moved to France, to be an artist and start brewing beer. Which sounds like a solid plan. Except Tommy has no idea how to brew beer. He’s figured out that anyone can brew something alcoholic that resembles beer, but now, with a baby on the way (that showed up much quicker than they expected), he is short on time to figure out how to brew a beer than anyone will actually want to drink, and more importantly, buy.
When I first heard about this book, I decided to take a chance on it, even though I hate beer and it probably wasn’t the type of book I’d usually read. Sometimes I take some excellent chances and this was one of them. This book was absolutely hilarious. There’s something I love about self depreciating humour and people’s ability to laugh at themselves (probably because I find ample opportunities to do that about myself) and Tommy Barnes had me crying with laughter more than once. So much of his story was relatable (ok, I’ve never brewed beer, moved to France on a whim, or been that spectacularly bad at gardening, but being totally convinced your dog is outsmarting you and probably trying to ruin your life for a laugh? I get you. Discovering that the words “It’ll probably be ok” are usually an invitation for the universe to show you just how badly it can screw things up next? right there with you.)
I loved being on this insane journey with Tommy and Rose. I laughed, I shook my head at him, and cheered him on from the sidelines. I think I even learned some things about brewing beer. This book was such a surprise and I’m so very glad I read it!