In many ways, I was an independent woman, writes Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Alice Steinbach For years Id made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow But somehow she had become dependent in quite another way I had fallen into the habit of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me But who was she away from the people and things that defined her In this exquisite book, Steinbach searches for the answer to this question in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world Paris, where she finds a soul mate Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married Beautifully illustrated with postcards from Steinbachs journeys, this revealing and witty book transports you into a fascinating inner and outer journey, an unforgettable voyage of discovery.Praise for Without Reservations A rich account of one womans journey through Europe and into the self.Us WeeklyI loved going along with Alice Steinbach as she goes off on this rare, wonderful adventure, an escape into discovering herself and some of the truly magical places in this world DOMINICK DUNNEMore than a chronicle of the writers search for self discovery, Without Reservations is a lovely travelogue.Chicago TribuneThe best books, like the best vacations, contain unexpected delights, surprises that enrich the soul as well as the senses This is a book about love, and longing, and the passage of time Its about hope, and courage, and the resiliency of memory This book is a feast Bon apptit The Des Moines RegisterBeautifully written, clear, insightful, thoughtful Steinbachs book should be taken in slowly and savored all the way.St Petersburg Times...
|Title||:||Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman|
|Number of Pages||:||378 Pages|
|File Size||:||799 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman Reviews
I wanted to like this book, but by the end, I had reservations and so, it turns out, did Steinbach. Despite the title, she never showed up in a city with no place to stay, nor did she spontaneously change the course of her planned journey to go somewhere else. What bothered me the most, though, was her utter blindness to the role played by her own privilege. She occasionally mentions worrying about money, but that didn't stop her from buying expensive face creams, a silk dress, or beverages that cost the equivalent of $5-10. Except for one scene in which she mentions seeing a beggar woman, she never seems to have spent any time with other people who weren't similarly well off. This reads more like the old-fashioned grand tour of Europe for wealthy young women than like an adventure story. I also would have liked her better if she'd given at least one example of the times (and she says there were some) when her attempts to form friendships with those she met didn't instantly succeed. It's not a bad book, but it wasn't what I was led to expect and therefore it was a major disappointment.
I have read this book twice and I liked it as much the second time as I did the first time. I recommend this book for anyone who wants a little travel in their life. I especially recommend it for any woman who wants to travel alone. I read the book the 2nd time for a book club and one woman pointed out that this book made her feel bad because she could not afford this trip herself. She admitted she was jealous. I could see how this book could do that. As someone who has traveled to Europe solo on a very tight and small budget, this book did not make me feel jealous. Yes, I wish I could have the same opportunities and time that Alice Steinbach did, but I was much more inspired and interested than jealous. And while I would definitely categorize this book as a travel book, it is also about adventure, female friendship, and rediscovering life. I definitely recommend this book and will probably read it again for a 3rd time and maybe even more.
I felt like I was along on this adventure and enjoyed every minute of it. I noticed some reviewers thought she misrepresented the idea of a woman traveling alone because she met and interacted with other travelers. When you travel alone, that is part of the experience. You meet other travelers and share experiences which makes your adventure even richer. I loved it. I intend to re-read it this winter and enjoy it all over again.
I absolutely loved this book! As a woman who has been to Europe several times and loved it, I was enticed by the cover to share Steinbach's adventure. I have never had the courage to travel alone but certainly have the curiosity to want to do so. Traveling with Alice was a delightful and safe way to fulfill those desires from my armchair. I loved the way in which she wrote and instantly felt a kinship with her. Many places were familiar and felt like meeting an old friend. Others were unfamiliar and yet equally enjoyable. After reluctantly finishing the book, I feel as if I too, have just returned from a trip. I can't wait to embark on another with Alice.
This travel memoir got off to a slow start -- it lacked the quirkiness & unexpected that I like in travel writing --food was "delicious", bells "tinkled." I felt like the writing was dry, predictable. Rather than experiencing the immediacy of her surroundings, Steinbach allowed them to send her back into the past, where she wallowed in memories of her ex-husband, her Scottish grandmother, her "former" life. About halfway through the book, about the time Steinbach hit the Imperial War Museum in London (one of my favorites) I became more engaged in Steinbach's journey. Although Steinbach is independent, she recognizes the importance of other people in her life. The most noteworthy aspect of the trip is how Steinbach manages to hook up with locals and fellow travelers --men and women of varied ages and backgrounds -- and describes them & their shared experiences in delightful detail (like the larger-than-life Australian psychoanalyst that she meets at the Freud museum, whose application of red-red lipstick only approximates the shape of her mouth, and the tweeded "spinster" who accompanies Steinbach on a lemon curd shopping expedition in the Cotswolds). Steinbach also strikes up a charming friendship with a Japanese businessman -- which keeps the reader guessing. This is more of a pleasant, reflective memoir than a traditional travel book. It doesn't detail many laugh-out-loud experiences, but it will make you smile.
In my view I was initially put off by the author. It may have seemed she was bragging or too idyllic I'm not certain. But everytime I picked it up I was more engrossed in her story. I am glad I I took this journey with her. Now I have to read the next one!
I real!y enjoyed Steinbach's account of her travels and stays in different cities in Europe! She wrote beautifully about her accidental friendships she started! Her travels alone inspired me!
It seemed less than satisfying that the writer pulled us along her entire life up to the point of her trip, then we followed her through three delightful countries. Along the way we were caught up in her life and her fears, doubts, personal triumphs and then left at the end in as much of a fog as the scene she describes looking back at Venice. I have spent quite a bit of time in France & Italy, less so in England so enjoyed reliving some of my favorite places. Had I not been there I would not have enjoyed the book as well.