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Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story by Andrea Bennett

Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

February 2015 Debut of the Month.

A quite slow-moving tale of some old folk in Russia which may not be action-packed but it is certainly observation packed. Set about twenty years ago it is frequently damning of the country. Once glorious buildings are now damp, run-down and cold and anyone with any power (that includes the railway booking clerk) is mean and nasty. Bureaucracy is everywhere, queues, corruption and bribery abound. In this bleak work we meet an old lady, her stray three-legged dog Boroda, her best friend of some forty years, an ancient admirer, a sweet lively woman and the evil dog catcher! Both dog and admirer get caught and the ladies jump to the rescue. A gentle tale with bags of charm.

How this novel came to be published is also a heartwarming tale. It was submitted to the publisher HarperCollins without an agent, during an 'open submission' period in April 2013. The author, Andrea Bennett, had previously submitted her manuscript to a dozen agents without luck before hearing of HarperCollins’s open submission period. It was then picked up from among those manuscripts submitted and eventually published in February 2015.

If you like Andrea Bennett you might also like to read books by Romain Puertolas, J B Morrison and Catharina Ingelman-Sundbert.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Magdalena Vidgen - 'This book grabbed me from the beginning.' Read full review >
  • Cathy Burman - 'A light hearted read, sad, funny, and very enjoyable.' Read full review >
  • Holly Kilminster - 'a delightful, hilarious story about a group of elderly Russians who go on a mission to rescue Galina’s three-legged dog, Boroda. Quirky, crazy and a joy to read.' Read full review >
  • Jacki Moorcroft - 'Galina Petrovna's adventures with her old friends who are trying to save her beloved Boroda from the dog exterminator will have you chuckling to yourself long after you have finished reading.' Read full review >
  • Evelyn Love-Gajardo - 'please give this book a go if you need cheering up this February - you won't be sorry!'  Read full review >
  • George Willmett - 'Every page is a joy to read and the text is warm and witty but also with tales of the hardship and troubles that the characters have been through during their lives.'  Read full review >
  • Ann Alderton - 'An entertaining romp of a story with a cast of colourful characters that could have stepped out of a Wes Anderson movie, the novel entertains and charms at the same time.  A delightful read.' Read full review >
  • Alison Burns - 'a wryly humourous tale of some elderly Russians who fight a bureaucratic state to try to save Galina Petrovna's beloved three legged dog Boroda from the local exterminator.' Read full review >
  • Clare Topping - 'one to recommend, making you laugh, occasionally grimace, but throughout care about the characters and wonder how it will all turn out in the end.' Read full review >
  • Lorraine Baker - 'A wonderful, delightful tale about a group of spirited septuagenarians who go after a heartless exterminator to save the much loved Boroda. An absolute joy to read.' Read full review >
  • Katie Hoare - 'an enjoyable read, with some brilliant descriptions in parts, making the reader feel quite fond of some of the characters and definitely want to cuddle up to Boroda.' Read full review >
  • Lesley Mumbray-Williams - 'Andrea Bennett paints such a lively picture of Galia and her surroundings.  It is funny, sad, touching and inspiring and reminds us all that getting old does not mean acting old.'  Read full review >
  • Alison Greenacre - 'It's a very gentle, uplifting tale, a bit of a farce in places. Is there a happy ending?...You'll just have to read it to find out!' Read full review >
  • Peter Nicol - 'The characters, though eccentric, never stray too far from reality and will have you rooting for them throughout, even those you may not expect to.' Read full review >
  • Lesley Hart - 'I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle tale of one person's fight for what she believes in.' Read full review >

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Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story by Andrea Bennett

A joyful and hilarious tale of some very spirited septuagenarians as they overcome innumerable obstacles to save their beloved mutt from a heartless exterminator in a land where bureaucracy reigns above all else. Picaresque at its very best. Perhaps you're not a member of the Azov House of Culture Elderly Club? Perhaps you missed the talk on the Cabbage Root Fly last week? Galina Petrovna hasn't missed one since she joined the Club, when she officially became old. But she would much rather be at home with her three-legged dog Boroda. Boroda isn't 'hers' exactly, they belong to each other really, and that's why she doesn't wear a collar. And that's how Mitya The Exterminator got her. And that's why Vasily Semyonovich was arrested. And Galina had to call on Zoya who had to call on Grigory Mikhailovich. And go to Moscow. Filled to the brim with pickle, misadventure and tears, Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story will leave you smiling at every page.


The 'bonkers
book that

'it is impossible not to be moved by... It takes a very clever writer to make you both laugh and cry'

'A terrific and original debut'

About the Author

Andrea Bennett graduated from the University of Sheffield in History & Russian and then spent a good part of the Yeltsin years living and working in Russia. On her return to the UK she joined the Civil Service - first at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, then the Department for International Development. A stint in local government followed, and she now works in the charity sector. This is her first novel. She lives in Ramsgate, Kent, with her family and dog.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th February 2015


Andrea Bennett

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The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


342 pages


Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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