Friday, March 15, 2013

Review: Ramblings in Ireland

Ramblings in IrelandTitle: Ramblings in Ireland
Series: N/A
Author:  Kerry Dwyer
Publisher:  Someday Box
Published: August 15, 2012
Genre: Memoir
Format: Kindle
Pages: 179
Source: Received From Author
Read: March 7-9th 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads:  Add To Your TBR Shelf

Goodreads Synopsis:
This is not a book about rambling in Ireland.

It tells the tale of one particular walking trip and the memories and musings it inspired.

Exploring the West of Ireland is a time for meditation, spiritual reflection and strengthening the bonds of life. More practically the ability to read a map might have proved helpful. The tourist office in Ireland has all their paths clearly marked. You can’t go wrong if you follow that little yellow man. Or can you?

As British ex-patriate Kerry Dwyer leads Bertrand, her trusting French husband, astray once more, they reminisce and reflect upon accents and accidents, family and friends, love and what it means to be alive. Bertrand doesn’t mind getting lost – he loves Kerry all the more for going off the beaten track.

This is a book about ramblings in Ireland. Walk with Kerry and Bertrand and follow where your thoughts lead you.

Melissa's Musings:

This is a very easygoing read, just like the title might suggest. The reader follows Kerry and her husband Bertrand on their walking trip through Ireland. In addition to great scenery, you get little snippets of their personal life with different stories that are mixed in throughout the chapters.

This is the kind of book that I love because it intersperses personal anecdotes with information. You get to learn about the great sights of Ireland, but at the same time you get to know more about the author on a personal level. Sometimes with non-fiction pieces I often get the feeling of informality, but not here.

I really enjoyed the author's comparisons of the differences between aspects of French and English (British) cultures. I really related to this given that my boyfriend is Canadian. Having had the chance to live in both Canada and the US, I definitely know what it's like to be of one culture and experiencing another, and the differences that you can encounter.

One of the examples that Dwyer uses is a reference to idle chit chat. Britons like to chat with people, to ask how they are doing, etc. whereas the French are more direct and don't tend to chit chat with one another. Dwyer's husband was also very excited by the fact that in Ireland the houses are all painted unique combinations of bright, cheerful colors. In France, house colors must fall within a range that has been approved by the French government.

One thing I noticed is that at times, the interactions described in the book do seem somewhat stiff, even formal. Most of these are the interactions between Kerry and her husband. I'm just wondering if some of that is... I'm not even sure how to put this, language interspersment issues? Since Dwyer knows both French and English, but lives in France, where my guess would be she mainly uses French, maybe some of the formality of the French language is coming through in the writing?

There's an element of fun, easygoingness to this book in the fact that Kerry and her husband do get lost from time to time. They have as much fun getting lost as they do when they aren't, which is enjoyable to see.

This is an excellent travel memoir that will give you a glimpse of the scenery of Ireland just as if you were walking the journey yourself.


kimbacaffeinate said...

Wonderful review Melissa, I have always been enchanted by Ireland and your review has me curious to read this. Thanks so much :)

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

Thanks Kimba!