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  • 58 | Global Living | August/september 2012

    v

    FIVE OF THE BEST ...

    GLOBAL READING | book reviews

    memoirsexpat

    Letters Never SentRuth Van RekenSummertime Publishing12.99 Growing up, Ruth Van Reken could not understand why, despite a life filled with rich experiences, she felt so unhappy. All through her life she was unable to express her emotions of

    sadness, anger and frustration. Being the child of missionary parents, Ruth felt that it went against her spirituality and faith to complain. In fact the only emotion she allowed herself to feel was guilt: for feeling homesick as a child at boarding school; for feeling angry when her parents left her time and time again to do Gods work; and for feeling disappointed and enraged when her special times with her husband were spoiled by patients needs.

    Ruth's candid journey of self-discovery will resonate with any expatriate as she finds healing by writing the heartfelt letters she never sent when, at age six, she was sent away to boarding school in Africa. Reviewer: Rawia Liverpool

    The Singing WarriorNiamh Ni BhroinSummertime Publishing13.99* Many people want to write a book in order to express some tragedy from their past. Few do so as well as Niamh Ni Bhroin. She was born in Dublin, suffered abuse

    and loss and escaped abroad in her early twenties. What is remarkable about this memoir is that the author writes in vivid stories, packed with detail. We see her dancing in her red pleated skirt, brought home from Hungary where her father had been at sea. We feel her pain as the nuns in her convent school force her school friends to shun and treat her like a whore. We laugh when she buys her first bra and we share her excitement as she finally appears to find love on a Greek island. Throughout her life, despite being raped and bullied, she found solace and sanctuary in singing. Later, a Shamanic healing turned her life around. This is a story of hope. Reviewer: Jo Parfitt, www.joparfitt.com

    Lunch in ParisElizabeth BardSummersdale 10.50Mmmm....food, France and words. Could there be a more delicious combination? Elizabeth Bard, an American, lands in

    Paris, planning to work as an art journalist and maybe take visitors on tours of the Louvre. But then she meets a tap-dancing Breton and falls in love, not only with him, but with food and cooking.

    Her story is sumptuously crafted, with recipes at the end of each chapter that had me running out to find the ingredients so I could try them the next day. The piece I call her 'Nigella Lawson moment', shows Bard standing up in the kitchen eating a freshly-made chocolate moelleux just to drown her sorrows. (I am rather delighted to share that she has now invited me to lunch in Provence, where she now lives.)Reviewer: Jo Parfitt

    Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs She Thinks I am a Piano Player in a WhorehousePaul CarterNicholas Brealey Publishing10.50Paul Carter is an Anglo-Australian, now based down under, who has written three hilarious memoirs, with this the first and still by far my favorite. Carter was a 'bit of a lad', who worked offshore

    for many years, getting up to all kinds of mischief as he traveled the world. With stories involving the kind of thing that makes men guffaw, this is the kind of book that will cause you to laugh out loud on the train. I've given it to many male friends as a gift and all have loved it, as did I. His next book, This is Not a Drill, is the weakest of the three, in my opinion, but his most recent, Is That Bike Diesel, Mate? is definitely up to par and tells the story of Carter's drive across Australia on a motorbike that runs on cooking oil.Reviewer: Jo Parfitt

    Perking the Pansies: Jack and Liam Move to TurkeyJack ScottSummertime Publishing, 201110.99While many may dream of leaving the rat race behind for a new life in an exotic locale, it's the rare few that actually follow through. When committed British gay couple Jack and Liam move to Muslim Turkey to make their life of leisure come true, you know you're in for an exciting ride. Jack Scott deftly weaves vividly

    accurate images of expatriate life, capturing the idiosyncrasies and foibles of this all-too-human group of eccentric characters, including vetpats, emigreys, VOMITs and Bodrum Belles. At turns hilarious, saucy, witty, heartwarming and incredibly moving, Perking the Pansies (pun fully intended) chronicles the excitement, alienation, frustration, predicaments and ultimately the satisfaction of living in a different culture. Jack proves that wherever in the world we may be, it is the relationships we surround ourselves with that matter most. No wonder fans await a sequel with bated breath.Reviewer: Linda A. Janssen, www.adventuresinexpatland.com

    In this section of Global Living Magazine, we feature five examples of good books in a specific genre. This issue, to tie in with Jo Parfitt's article on writing your life story

    (p.34), we feature memoirs.

    If you would like to suggest books for review in this section, please contact:Jo@summertimepublishing.com.

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