Saturday, 14 March 2009

Finished earlier this week

Finished March 9
Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
This memoir of a journey through Europe is a winner. Alice, with her sons off living their own lives, feels like she is in a rut. She looks a the things that she wanted to do and didn't and decides to take a leave from her job as a journalist and travel for several months. Because she wants to immerse herself in her surroundings, she chooses a few places in Europe and makes her plans in advance for accommodation and, in some cases, activities.
Throughout she sent postcards back to her home near Baltimore telling her impressions of her journey. She takes a break from her journalistic outlook and tries to look at things with fresh eyes. She makes friends, both longer-term and temporary, gains new ideas, and revisits old skills and attitudes. In making this jourey she rediscovers her own independent identity, not as a journalist or as someone's mother, but as a person.
She begins in Paris, where she begins a wonderful friendship; goes on to London, where she explores both new and old; Oxford, where she takes a course on the history of English villages, and rediscovers dancing; and Italy, where she spends time in many places, including Milan and Venice. This is a great memoir and a book full of interesting thoughts and insights.

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