Book review – A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell


I read this fantastic book last month and loved every bit of it. My friend in the UK sent me a copy of an interview with the author in Grazia and I immediately downloaded the book and got reading. My son was off school  sick  so I had plenty of time to devour it – in fact I read until 1am to finish it. It was refreshing to read a positive take on the expat experience.

Helen moves to Billund when her husband gets a job at, where else, Lego. Each chapter covers a month of her first year living Danishly and not only does she share her experiences but also a lot about Danish culture and traditions, which are very accurate (which isn’t always the case in these kind of books).

This book really spoke to me.  I loved it – for once it was a positive take on expat life here in Denmark. I found almost everything she said about her life in the UK when she made the decision to move here mirrored my feelings all those years ago (minus the trying for a baby bit). I do wonder if conceiving my son would have been so easy had I still be living the stressful life back in the UK.  I saw myself all those years ago in her descriptions of experiencing Danish life for the first time. It is a funny, intelligent and realistically positive book.

It is interesting how interested the British public are in life in Denmark since Danish crime hit the TV screen. Seven years ago people seemed to think I was moving to Holland, I doubt that would happen now.

I can really recommend this book if you are new to living in Denmark, it will give you a really positive feeling about the experience. In fact anyone with any interest in living in Denmark as an expat should read this -right now!

You can buy A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell on Amazon.


  1. I’ve hovered over this book several times on Amazon, wondering whether it was any good. After your glowing review I’ll definitely give it a read now 🙂

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