Two Dogs and A Suitcase: Clueless in Charente by Sarah Jane Butfield

The title says it all, what we have and where we are, but why and what lies ahead for these expats who leave Australia for a new life in France.

Two dogs and a suitcase: clueless in charente

Two dogs and a suitcase is the sequel to Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure and follows our French exploits as we endeavour to rebuild our lives in another new country, after spending four and half years in Australia. Our goal, or hope for the immediate future, is to focus positively on the present so that we can start a new, optimistic future back in Europe. Our main aim is to be nearer to the children, leaving the dark clouds of the challenges we faced in Australia as a distant memory. Journey with us as we arrive in rural South West France; enjoy my reflections, thoughts, and observations about my family, our new surroundings, and our lifestyle. Follow the journey of my writing career and how we start our renovation project while managing our convoluted family life. Once again, we will laugh, cry, and enjoy life to the fullest with a generous helping of positive spin thrown in for good measure.


Secondary Genre: TRAVEL / General

Language: English


Word Count: 55,000

Sales info:

This book regularly ranks at #1 in step parenting, families and renovations on Amazon. It is very popular in Europe and increasingly in US and Canada. It is in the process of being made into an audiobook for iTunes, Audible and Amazon. 

Sample text:

“Now, how flexible are you prepared to be on the condition of the roof?” Darren says.

As Nigel firmly grips my hand I realise that we are both thinking the same thing, we cannot afford to make a reactive, desperation purchase. If we are going to consider a compromise, there needs to be other redeeming features to compensate.

“What do you mean by flexible?” Nigel asks.

“Well the roof of the house is intact, but there is damage to the roof in the barn,” he says.

“Ok, well that’s not so bad, I suppose, let’s go take a look.”

I am a bit uneasy about this, as we are not experienced renovators.

As Darren struggles to unlock the front door with a long thin key, the rain drips down my neck from the leaking gutting. The daylight from the open door shows us the way as we walk straight through the house. I say house, but it resembles an animal shelter; the floor is unmade and sloping, pieces of wood and bags of what I assume are belongings are piled in the corners. We reach the back door that leads into the garden. Here is my redeeming feature. The garden is perfect. Currently resembling a meadow, with a babbling brook on the boundary, it looks out onto nothing except fields and trees all the way to the horizon. Standing in the rain, I turn and look back at the house and adjacent barn, and the true enormity of the degree of flexibility we need to exercise in relation to the roof hits me. There is a hole, where a large piece has caved in which lets the rain into the barn.

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Ilaria Grandi
Translation in progress. Translated by Cássia Regina de Afini
Already translated. Translated by Rosa Feijoo
Author review:
Excellent to work with.

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