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A Shepherd's Watch: Through the Seasons with…
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A Shepherd's Watch: Through the Seasons with One Man and His Dogs

by David Kennard

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Well written. An inside look at sheep raising for a living. There was more too it than I knew, of course. I liked it. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This is a book about a year in the life of a working shepherd. Although the subtitle indicates that it talks about the shepherd and his dogs, the sheepdogs are only one part of the story, which comprises sheep, and the turning of the seasons, and David's family.

It is a warm cosy book that leads you season by season through the usual happenings of a sheep farm. Kennard writes honestly and frankly about how much hard work it involves; how little money he takes; how the work of moments can damage a whole season.

There are touching stories about his sheepdogs, and I think a lot of readers will have sympathy for the plight of Ernie, a young dog who is a little too eager about herding sheep.

Kennard also writes about a few of the sheepdog trials he enters, and how effective his dogs turn out to be.

There is gentle humour and simplistic language which makes it a fast and easy read.

I have my complaints, it was certainly not the perfect book! Kennard's dialogue is stilted and difficult to read without smiling (and for all the wrong reasons!) However, I am willing to cut him some slack because he is not a natural author, and the dialogue is a small part of the overall book.

It was diverting enough for an afternoon's read, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend unless someone specifically wanted a book about sheep herding. ( )
  magemanda | Nov 2, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312332661, Hardcover)

At Borough Farm, on North Devon's rugged, spectacular coast, David Kennard and his dogs are embarking on a new shepherding year.

Part diary of one man and his remarkable dogs, part Herriot-like homage to the countryside and its characters, A Shepherd's Watch is that rare thing: a portrait of a real life that is at once authentic and evocative, warm, and compelling. Here, David Kennard presents twelve months with his working sheepdogs, Greg, Swift, Gail, Fern, and Ernie, as they face a never-ending series of challenges: from rescuing ewes stranded on the Atlantic cliffs to running the gauntlet of psychopathic rams and officious farm inspectors, from spring lambing and summertime shearing to fending off the ever-present threats nature has in store for the 850-strong flock. All this, in the midst of a harsh economic climate for farming and a landscape that is among the most picturesque, yet wildly unpredictable, in the British Isles.

David Kennard has been a shepherd since he left school at the age of seventeen. In this, his first book, he draws on half a lifetime's experience to paint an honest and affectionate, often comic picture of a year in the life of a sheep farm and its very different canine and human personalities. As he follows the changing seasons, observing nature's inexorable journey through the dark days of winter to the rebirth and renewal of spring, he also offers a gentle meditation on man's relationship with his environment, and a poignant elegy to a rural way of life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

At Borough Farm, on North Devon's rugged, spectacular coast, David Kennard and his dogs are embarking on a new shepherding year. Part diary, part Herriot-like homage to the countryside and its characters, this book is a portrait of a real life. Kennard presents twelve months with his working sheepdogs as they face a never-ending series of challenges: from rescuing ewes stranded on the Atlantic cliffs to running the gauntlet of psychopathic rams and officious farm inspectors, from spring lambing and summertime shearing to fending off the ever-present threats nature has in store for the 850-strong flock. All this, in the midst of a harsh economic climate for farming and a landscape that is among the most picturesque, yet wildly unpredictable, in the British Isles. As he follows the changing seasons, he also offers a meditation on man's relationship with his environment, and an elegy to a rural way of life.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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