by Kay Mercer

Book review: Two Shakes of a Lamb's Tail: The Diary of a Country Vet by Danielle Hawkins

Who knew that being a vet was so interesting one day and nightmarish the next, especially when you add a large farm, and of course her family to the mix?

I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book. I did try my hardest to save it and finish the other two that I was reading, but temptation was too hard to resist. I made sure that I had the essentials on hand - coffee, chocolate, and a comfy chair. What more could I ask for? 

As I had already read all Danielle Hawkin's fiction novels I was looking forward to her first non-fiction book, Two Shakes of a Lamb's Tail, and it was worth the wait. I loved the short diary format, getting small snippets of her everyday life. 

You find yourself hooked in by the story and laughing out loud at times. I was rapt to find a visit to Dunedin (even though it rained), but it's great to know that other people appreciate our Botanic Garden. I just hope that the rain hasn't put her off another visit to our great city. I'm sure we could put on some sunshine.

As I was reading through the diary and learning about the author's garden - all her wonderful plants, and those annoying weeds (we all have them) - this gave me a bit of a reminder to get mine looking fresh and inviting. Danielle's book also stirred up my own memories of visiting our friend's farm, moving stock, early mornings, get-togethers, picking mushrooms and the exhaustion at the end of the day. But what fun we had.

This glimpse into the author's very hectic, fulfilling, and amazing life was a joy to read, especially getting a glimpse of shearing time - not just the sheep but of all the work behind the scenes: meals, baking and the planning so that it all runs smoothly. It just makes it all real, you have a Farmers Wife, Mother, Vet and Author all wrapped into one. Try as I might, I still can't figure out when she has time to write her books.

Dear Danielle Dawkins,
You must be Wonder Woman!
ps: Can't wait for your next book.
pps: When are you visiting Dunedin next?
Yours Truly,
Dianne Mears