Troubador A Girl Called Fred

Released: 28/05/2014

ISBN: 9781783063635

eISBN: 9781783066605

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Girl Called Fred


A Girl Called Fred is the beautifully written tale of Fred, a female Yorkshire terrier, and her first years with a new family. Set in the halcyon days of the seventies, this narrative brings back memories of when the village pub was where good beer and conversation flowed and smoking was allowed inside. Milk was delivered to the doorstep and coal, kept in bunkers, was burnt on open fires where bread and chestnuts could be toasted...

In 1975, at the age of six, Fred joins the Willgoose family and brings love, companionship and joy, mixed with humour and occasional sadness to Jean, Roger and Stephen. To their surprise, Fred betrays her ratting ancestry with most unladylike assaults on various cats, dogs and people who stamp their feet – especially eighteen-stone gentlemen! But her strength of character shows through when she becomes the victim of a road accident which causes great distress to her loving family. Stephen often shows a maturity beyond his years while Roger, with good humour, patience and occasional over-indulgence in the local pub, endures and describes some quite hilarious experiences.

Anyone who has ever loved a dog will enjoy A Girl Called Fred. Animal lovers especially will find the account of Fred's life entertaining, while the narrative will appeal to fans of humorous fiction. Author Roger was an avid reader and was inspired by the late Henry Rider Haggard and Damon Runyon.

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Roger Willgoose

Nottingham Evening Post

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Dog World

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Teena in Toronto

This is a truly funny, uplifting book which will have you laughing and crying in equal measures. For anyone who loves humour, animals (or even humorous animals!) it is a must read!

by Nick Milton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text: This is wonderful book by a wonderful story-teller which will appeal to animal lovers, dog lovers, and anglophiles. Delightful, well-written story about a young English family who adopts a small dog with a big (and distinct) personality... and the ensuing misadventures. The story follows them, their young son, and their friends, families, neighbors, 'mates' and a whole colorful cast in the English countryside as they and an assortment of dogs, cats, puppies and more gamble through life, with all its ups and downs. The author has a distinctive story-telling style, which I loved, a dry sense of humor, and a droll wit. He clearly loves his life, his family, and (most) of the people and animals he shares them with. Joyous, past-paced and lovingly told. Highly recommend!

by Leila Emadin

This is a very easy, nice read. It is a bit sexist and dated as it was written in the seventies, but has only now been published. The author wrote it in the 1970s but never managed to get it published back then. After his death his wife found a copy of the manuscript and so here it is.
Roger Willgoose isn’t really a dog person. It is his wife really who decides to bring a dog into their home. But gradually this little Yorkshire Terrier, renamed Fred, worms her way into Roger’s affections. She accompanies him in many walks to the local pub. Her dealings with invading cats are legend, and her puppies spread all over the village.

It isn’t really the story of Fred, the yorkie, it is instead the tale of the Willgoose family and a, probably, rose-tinted, glimpse of England from forty years ago. If you are looking for a cosy book to pass a couple of hours with, that won’t tax you too much, then this is perfect reading material.

by Dearbhla Ecnef

A Girl Called Fred is a cute story about a little dog who turned a household upside down but in a good way. She takes a man not sure if he even likes dogs to a totally devoted doggie daddy. Go Fred!

by Debbie Morgan

While there is nothing remarkable about Fred, the little Yorkie about which this book is written (or the author's writing, for that matter), it is a sweet, easy narrative. The author and his family took Fred--previously named Acol--in 1975, and 5 years later, he wrote this manuscript about how she had been integrated into their lives. Two years after his death, the author's wife came across the manuscript and sought publication.

Worth a read if you are looking for a cute story for which you don't have to think too hard (and of course, if you are one of those people who treat your pets like family!)

by Amanda Yanez

What a wonderful read,telling the story of how a Yorkshire Terrier
takes over the life of Roger Willgoose ,especially when visiting the local pub.
A lovely look at life and well done Jean for finding Roger s manuscript and getting it published.

by John Tivey

I admit I was skeptical about reading a book that described itself as a biography of a dog, but A Girl Called Fred is far beyond a story about a dog. It is the story of how Fred, a one-eyed Yorkshire terrier, transformed the lives of the author, the late Roger Willgoose, and his wife Jean and their son Steve. The writing is fresh, the descriptions are clever, the unexpected interjections of humor so funny I laughed out loud, and the antics of the clever Fred and her offspring Charlie are so true to life, that I felt I knew the entire family personally. I cried when Fred's little rump puppy died and I almost cried when I learned that Jean Willgoose published her late husband's musings on their life with Fred when she found them after he died. This is a lovely, lovely book. I enjoyed it immensely. I enjoyed the crisp writing, the brisk humor, and, overall, the life and times of Fred, Charlie and their people.

by Susan Kaplan

A girl called Fred was a lovely story and very well written straight from the heart,as a dog lover you can connect with every page,with all the ups and downs of life with a dog.
Well done Jean,all my best wishes.

by Carol Neville, Classique

This is a delightful memoir of a family's life with a dog. Taking on a six year old Yorkshire terrier was some feat, but the fact that Roger Willgoose enjoyed his life with Fred enough to write a book about her shows how much this terrier, with all her little traits. became such an integral part of the Willgoose family.
Good on his wife Jean for getting this published.An enjoyable read for all, animal lovers or not.

by Margaret Reilly

Absolutely loved this book! Heart warming and humorous. Gave me many laugh out loud moments. Highly recommended!

by Charlotte Shield

Fred is a Yorkshire terrier who is adopted by a family. Fred has a "big" and distinctive personality. She gets the father of the house to fall in love with her. There are adventures and misadventures with Fred. Everyone loves Fred. The family decides to keep one of Fred's puppies. The name for the puppy is Charlie. Fred does chase cats and doesn't like the stamping of feet. Everyone at the pub and the hotel regulars love her. Sadly, Fred becomes a victim of a road accident.

The book is sweet. It leaves you with a good feeling. The author wrote this book with love for his Fred. It is a book for anyone but I suspect any dog lover would enjoy this book!

by Susan Mahaffey

Roger Willgoose

Born in 1935, Roger lived in Trowell near Nottingham until he married Jean in 1968 when they settled in Stapleford. He attended Trowell Infants School and Ilkeston Grammar School until he joined the Nottingham Evening Post in 1952 as a commercial artist. After 2 years National Service in the RAF, where he learned aerial photography, he returned to the Post, qualified as a Press Photographer and continued in that role for the next 37 years. He loved taking pictures for the sports department, especially football and he was an avid supporter of Derby County.

Never having owned a pet, Roger was not happy with the prospect of suddenly adopting a Yorkshire terrier. His anxieties were soon to be dispelled by the feisty young dog and the bond that developed between them produced this book in 1981. The manuscript was gifted to Jean but after several rejections by publishers it was ‘mislaid’, only to be discovered in 2013 two and a half years after Roger’s death.

Roger was a kind, caring and talented man. Publishing this book is a suitable memorial to celebrate his character, his generosity and his popularity. He will always be remembered.

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