Book review

Faring Forth Again on the Shoe: More tales of Barging through Belgium to France by Valerie Poore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful account of faring on a characterful canal boat through the Belgian and French canals, with lovely descriptions of the countryside, the towns, and the remnants of industry encountered along the way.

I loved the leisurely pace which the journey takes, the excitement of a new place to discover, or a favourite place to revisit, all from the beguiling perspective of the waterside. There is a charming contrast between Val’s nervousness about the vagaries of locks and gaps (which I can totally relate to!) and her partner Koos’ calm, inborn expertise as a skipper.

There is so much of interest, as hidden corners of cities, towns and countryside are revealed. We move from the calm progress along the canal to the exhilaration of running with the tide on a tidal stretch of river. And we can share Val’s amazement at the technological wonders of the boat lift at Strepy Thieu and the inclined plane at Ronquieres.

I enjoyed the journey enormously and would love to visit the area described one day. Meanwhile, I recommend this book to all who enjoy a gentle account of “charming encounters, quirky corners, and fascinating discoveries”. I look forward to reading more by this author.

View all my reviews

By helenstephensonauthor

Author of SIDNEY DELICIOUS: the memoir of a Spanish rescue dog

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