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Publisher's Summary

Suddenly released from her engagement and out of work, Julia Fairfax is looking for a new direction in life. When a classified ad catches her eye, she embarks on a hilarious trip through the English canals in a rickety hotel boat. Along the way, she encounters hard-to-please guests, an unsettling ex-boyfriend, and the challenges of cooking in a tiny galley with rattling crockery. Life Skills is both a delightful romp and a step-by-step guide to how not to see England's scenic canals.

London Times best-selling novelist Katie Fforde creates delicious romances that are both light-hearted and intelligent.

©1999 Kate Fforde (P)2000 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Life Skills

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    39
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    28
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    28
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    9
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    7
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    2
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    3
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    26
  • 4 Stars
    19
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    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    8

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Why does this get good ratings?

I purchased this book because of the high ratings and because the summary sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it is so bad I never even finished listening to it.

The main character is not only uninteresting, she is annoying. We are asked to believe that a successful, intelligent career women will become totally incompetent once she loses her job. She is being sued by her former employer but rather than deal with it she allows herself to be bullied by her brother, her former boss, and her ex-boyfriend. She is a boring, limp doormat and I couldn't bring myself to hear anything more about her.

The young woman the main character goes to work for is at least interesting and mildly entertaining. Sadly, the book drags along without enough happening with either character to be readible.

All in all, I highly recommend skipping this book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So much wrong with this

Men who angrily kiss women who are yelling at them. (Consent consent consent!)

Blatant forced birther propaganda.

The woman thinking that she is solely responsible for the pregnancy and that she is a "slut". This book is just toxic.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed.... I really wanted to like this book

Julia was an immature, selfish, cruel at times and unlikeable character. Fergus was too nice/good to and for her. I found myself wishing Susie was the main female character at times. I struggle with finishing this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

This book starts out great-

cool setting, interesting character development. But if you think that a single, pregnant, unemployed woman should put her baby's needs before her own need for "passion" and ... I couldn't even figure out what this character felt she needed... then you'll only be frustrated by the glorification of irrational, irresponsible behavior.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator very good, story not so much...

The logic behind the heroine's actions in the romance department is so convoluted as to be utterly ridiculous. Because key plot points happen so quickly and out of the blue, there isn't adequate development of the character's motives. This is fairly typical of the romance genre, but is handled particularly badly in this one. To be blunt, she starts behaving like a stupid, selfish cow halfway through the book, which really makes it hard to continue.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K.
  • 05-08-15

Two stories in one

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This wasn't my favorite listen. The first part of the book focuses on Julia's problems and her adjustment to life on a narrowboat. Then the plot takes a big left turn and the rest of the book is quite different. Can't say more without spoilers. It almost seemed like two different books. Just my impression, and others may not notice this.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

There's a great deal of information about traveling through the canals of England on a narrowboat, where our heroine has taken a job as a chef. Some was interesting, but the boating detail was at times hard to follow.

Was Life Skills worth the listening time?

Davina Porter's narration was brilliant and definitely improved the book for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fresh Story

Really liked the book. Having listened to Outlander the books on audio, it was a little strange to have Davina Porter as the narrator. Her voice for Captain Randall in Outlander is the same as the love interest in this book which took some getting used to. Overall, fun listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Mixed Thoughts

I really like Katie Fforde's books and wish more of them were available on audible! I enjoy this story (I had already read it in book form and so enjoyed hearing it again) but didn't like the narrator (her voice sounded too old).

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

This was enjoyable, but not super great.