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But Can You Drink the Water? (Droll, witty and utterly British)
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But Can You Drink the Water? (Droll, witty and utterly British)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Follow the hilarious lives of the naïve Turner family as they emigrate from Liverpool to sunny South Africa. Laugh out loud as they encounter ‘crocodiles’ on the wall, strange African customs and unintelligible Afrikaans accents. Cringe with them as their visiting in-laws embarrass them in front of their new SA friends.

If you enjoyed Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine yo
ebook, 232 pages
Published June 3rd 2010 by Just4kix Books (first published March 23rd 2010)
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Martin Cooper
Jan Hurst-Nicholson emigrated from England to South Africa in 1972. Her novel is set 16 years later in 1988, but you get the feeling she knows what she's talking about.

The book follows the fortunes of Frank and Mavis Turner and their 15-year-old son Gerry from the moment the wheels of the 747 hit the runway at Louis Botha airport. They are a working class family from Liverpool, Scousers to the core. Frank has signed a five-year contract to work in Durban, dragging his reluctant wife and resentfu
Can this family of scousers make the cultural adjustment from Liverpool, England to Durban, South Africa? Think of “But Can You Drink the Water?” as “The Griswold’s go to Durban.”

Let me just say that I was so busy laughing my way through this lighthearted romp that, until the end, I failed to realize that the author had slipped in a profound lesson along the way. While l laughed at the Turner’s misadventures, they were searching for a place they could call home and a sense of belonging.

Those Bri
Karen (Kew)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, had me laughing out loud in the early stages of the book. As the story progresses, it is still amusing, but also more thoughtful. We see the impact that the move has made on family and friends. Also how the family have changed by living abroad. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
Luca I.
Jan 10, 2011 Luca I. is currently reading it
Really enjoying this book! Funny!
Grace Krispy
Frank and Mavis Turner, and their teenage son, Gerry, are your typical Liverpool family. Liverpool is the only life they've ever really known, and it's a satisfying, if uneventful, life. When Frank is offered- and accepts- a job in Durban, South Africa, he turns his family's lives upside-down. Dragging along a sullen Gerry and a reluctant Mavis, Frank excitedly embarks upon his new adventure. This novel follows the Turner family as they explore Durban and come to terms with their new surrounding ...more
Big Book Little Book
Set back in 1988, this follows the story of working class Scouser Frank, his wife Mavis and 15 year old Gerry as they move from Liverpool to Durban, South Africa. This light hearted book was an easy read and kept me amused. There are many funny moments as they adjust to life in Durban and discover that in fact it's not the jungle, but that it's certainly not Liverpool either. 'We never shoulda come' is spoken often by Mavis in response to all manner of calamities, major and minor.

They make frie
Ana Mardoll
But Can You Drink the Water / B003CV7SS6

When Frank accepted a contract to work 5 years in Africa, he expected his family would be pleased with the surprised. How was he to know that his wife Mavis would pitch an absolute fit, or that his teenage son Gerry would retaliate with a Mohawk haircut? But they're stuck with it now, and all they can do is make the best of Africa - even if it isn't the rolling savannah of grass and lions that they had expected.

The beautifully packed prose of this excerpt
Paula P
I decided to read this book for my goodreads challenge. Thought it would be used as 'a funny book' however although I enjoyed reading it, I can't exactly say I was roaring with laughter. The odd smirk maybe but it's an ok read, ideal for a holiday or waiting rooms
Shelley Olivier
Very humorous and thought provoking in the end, for people who emigrate. Durban is so unique and Janet knows her subject well. Had lots of good laughs:)
Sonja Arlow
This was a very easy read and reminded me about the uniqueness of being South African when seen through the eyes of foreigners.
I enjoyed this book, laugh out loud and easy to read. Mavis was a fab character
Monica marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2015
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Geoff Woodland marked it as to-read
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Brenda Knight marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
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Jan Hurst-Nicholson has been writing for about 25 years. Her articles, humorous articles and short stories have appeared in South African and overseas magazines and these were compiled into a book: ‘Something to Read on the Plane’ a bit of light literature, short stories & other fun stuff.

Her first children’s book was ‘Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the missing canary eggs’ published by Ge
More about Jan Hurst-Nicholson...
Something To Read On The Plane Leon Chameleon P.I. and the Case of the Kidnapped Mouse The Breadwinners: A Family Saga With the Headmaster's Approval Mystery at Ocean Drive

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