Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family’s 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain By Ben Hatch


Book Description:

The number one non-fiction read that made John Cleese and Danny Wallace laugh and Terry Wogan and Richard Briers cry.

If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again…

“‘Hurry up,’ I shout at Dinah, whilst on the overhead telly Ray Mears’ Survival is playing extraordinarily loudly because Charlie sat on the volume button of the remote. The kids writhe about in the V05 shampoo they just spilt, laughing as the last of their clean clothes bite the dust, and I’m thinking: ‘Survive driving round England with two under 4s, staying at a different hotel each night and visiting four or five attractions a day and sometimes a restaurant in the evening. Sleep all in the same room, go to bed at 7 p.m. after having had no evening to yourself, wake up at 7 a.m. and do it all again the next day with the prospect of another 140 nights of the same – then come and tell me about survival in your khaki ****ing shorts, Ray.’”

They were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40. So when Ben and his wife Dinah were approached to write a guidebook about family travel, they embraced the open road, ignoring friends’ warnings: ‘One of you will come back chopped up in a bin bag in the roof box.’

Featuring deadly puff adders, Billie Piper’s pyjamas and a friend of Hitler’s, it’s a story about love, death, falling out, moving on and growing up, and 8,000 misguided miles in a Vauxhall Astra.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit to having this book sat on my kindle for quite a while now. I originally bought it after coming across the author on Twitter and thought his books sounded very different but fun so thought I would give one of them ago.

Even though I thought it sounded different and fun, I was actually quite nervous about reading it as I really did not know whether it would be my cup of tea or not and I was beginning to wonder whether it was such a good idea to have purchased it in the first place. Well I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed it.

Are We Nearly There Yet? is a non fiction book that follows the author with his wife Dinah and their two children on a road trip visiting various tourist attractions across the UK for a guidebook.

To be honest when I read at the beginning of what the family were about to do, I thought Ben and Dinah must be mad. I love my husband and my children very much but the thought of only having them for company while we travelled thousands of miles and living out of suitcases in numerous hotels and apartments with two young children for five months, well I think we would have all been needing counselling by the end of it!

I had visions of two screaming children constantly arguing as well as the parents tearing their hair out and also constantly arguing. I have to say even though there was the odd spat, overall this is one family unit that get on really well.

Even though there are lots of places of interest mentioned which we learn a little about, it didn’t feel like some history lesson. It actually made me wish that I could just pile the family into the car and take off for a week or so, though doing back to back of days visiting places I do think I would get a bit bored before to long, even if it was for work. I certainly could not have done five months of it.

There are quite a few funny moments in the book, one that had me howling with laughter is when they are staying in a haunted castle in Scotland. All I can say is that I hope Dinah looks back at that particular incident with laughter.

Their journey as with anything in real life does not run as smoothly as Ben and Dinah would hope. They are faced with family issues, illness as well as quite a bad accident.

The bond that Ben has with his own dad was really great to read, you can tell how close they both are and how much Ben idolises him. I will openly admit to tearing up at one part but will say no more so as not to ruin it for anyone who has not had the pleasure of reading it yet.

Are We Nearly There Yet? really is a great read. It is a novel that will make you appreciate your family that little bit more. It brought to mind very fond and happy memories of time that I spent with my mum and dad when I was a child and also time that I spent with my children when they were a similar age to the authors.

This is a book that anyone from a young adult upwards can read and enjoy and one I would certainly urge people to take a chance on.

I have awarded this book 4/5 stars.

Are We Nearly There Yet? is available to purchase from Amazon.

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