Thursday, January 24, 2013

Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach

"Although I do not believe in love at first sight - not with a man, anyway - I do believe it's possible to fall instantly in love with a place. As soon as Marta and I emerged from a narrow lane and entered Ravello's pristine town square, I felt the ZING of Cupid's arrow hitting my heart. I was smitten instantly. But why Ravello? I wondered. Why hadn't I fallen for sparkling Amalfi or dazzling Positano? For some reason I found myself comparing the three towns to men. If Amalfi were a man, I thought,he'd be dressed by Calvin Klein and reading Tom Clancy. Positano would wear Armani and carry a book by John Le Carre. But if Ravello were a man - ah, Ravello!- he would be in chinos and a fresh white Oxford shirt with no tie, buried in a book by Graham Greene."  Page 229
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman
by Alice Steinbach

My book club discussed Without Reservations on a cold, snowy morning earlier this week. The book itself is Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Alice Steinbach's account of a year-long European sabbatical taken to discover who she really was without her career and children, but our discussion quickly veered toward our own travel tales and aspirations. We all mostly enjoyed the book, but questioned whether her ultimate goal for the trip was realized.

I loved Steinbach's writing, especially the postcards of personal insight and inspiration mailed home (to herself) throughout the trip. They appear at the beginning of each chapter. I hope to read her later book, Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman, sometime this year.

My rating:

16 comments:

  1. After reading your review on GR I immediately added to this my bookshelf. I like the idea of sending yourself postcards while on vacation. I am always drawn to books such as these. Maybe I need a year long sabbatical???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staci - Couldn't we all use a one year sabbatical?! I really enjoyed the book and hope you do, too!

      Delete
  2. I like the idea of sending postcards to yourself while on vacation too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nise' - That idea really appealed to me, too. I may do that on my next trip :-)

      Delete
  3. Amazing writing and I agree - I fell in love with Venice. I love your banner picture.
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann - I can't wait to read her other books. So sad there will be no more...

      Delete
  4. This sounds like a wonderful read. I travelled a bit when I was younger and I'd love to do it again one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam - I really hope we can travel more now that the girls are older. There is so much I'd like to see and experience!

      Delete
  5. This is one of those books I always meant to read. Glad your group liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I too love the idea of the postcards! I am definitely going to do that next time we take a trip!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the quote. I like how she compared towns to men and their clothes and book. Very clever.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love that excerpt. And the postcard idea.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love a book that can get the club talking, even if it's not exactly the conversation you thought you'd have.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I usually love books like this. I think the sending postcards home to yourself is great fun. And I'd love to take a European sabbatical right now, even if only in a book :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been longing to go to Italy for several years now and one of my dream locations is Positano. I've never heard of Ravello, but after perusing some photos on Google, I may have to add that to my itinerary! It looks gorgeous!

    I'm going to add this book (and her others) to my TBR list. What a shame she's no longer alive to write more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les - Italy is one of my dream vacations... I'll get there eventually! I'm glad Steinbach has a couple more book I can read. Very sad there will be no more.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails