"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 229Without 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.