The family consists of children 8, 9, and 3 along with a babysitter who went with them for a good part of the trip. Would I want to take three-year-old Kyle around the world for a year? Probably not, but I would love to be able to take Amanda abroad at nine. The excited reactions of the children to the African safari in particular was so touching and evoked my envy:
I pivoted around to see what she was pointed at and spotted an eighteen-foot giraffe loping gracefully down the shoulder of the road. "Did you see that?" Kara cried breathlessly. "It was just running around free."I chuckled as they got lost driving outside the Villa Borghese in Rome, because my husband and I did just that on our visit there ten years ago.
"I did, honey. It was wonderful."
"I'm going to like Africa a lot," Kara said, and her face was lit with wonder.
For a memoir-type book, this is surprisingly family-friendly. I would rate it a G for an isolated curse or two. There is certainly nothing in it that I would shield from a teen's eyes.
A friend recommended this book to me years ago. I put it on my amazon wishlist, and always knew it would be a book I would want to read. I'm glad that the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge came along and caused me to pull it off my to-be-read list. This book definitely gave a sense of place--of many places: the eclectic city of Istanbul, an African safari, Australia, France, and India stand out in my mind. What's more, David Cohen paints the backdrop of a place with three children in tow, which is quite different than a travel article you might read in the New York Times Travel section. I loved the sights and sounds of this book as well as the revelations and choices that were made in order to make it happen.
This review is linked to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books.
Also, if you did not enter to win a copy of The Little Red Book of Wisdom this week at 5 Minutes for Mom, I am leaving comments open through Sunday, because the author donated FIVE more copies. Click on over for a chance to win.