Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World (Book Review)

Title: The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World
Author: Kristin Rockaway
Publication: Trade Paperback, Center Street/Hachette Publishing, 2017
Genre: Fiction
Plot: Sophie is a busy IT consultant, used to leaving New York for weeks at a time to work for various clients, savoring the frequent flyer miles she earns to satisfy her wanderlust. When she meets Carson in Hong Kong, she is immediately attracted to a man who is her opposite – a carefree artist who isn’t interested in a traditional career but has been traveling around the world. Sophie thinks it’s a once in a lifetime fling and throws herself into it, ignoring the emails piling up from her boss and skipping an important meeting. When it’s time to part, she heads back to NYC where she is punished for her vacation inattention by being stuck preparing for audits with a lazy coworker. She misses Carson but his lack of ambition bothered her. Sophie is conflicted between her commitment to the tedious job that she has worked hard to get but doesn’t enjoy and her fear that leaving would make her a failure. It takes losing Carson to make Sophie realize he was right to challenge her to take risks and she can use her inner “wild woman” to find fulfillment – and that perhaps he is not gone for good . . .

Audience: Fans of women’s fiction such as Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, and Emily Giffin

My Impressions: This book is a light-hearted escape, written for armchair travelers and those with their noses to the grindstone who yearn to escape from their jobs for an adventure. At times, it was easy to identify with Sophie who is very good at her job and used to working long hours, trying to get the most out of her work travel by adding a few hours exploring on her way home, as I used to do, but I also found her annoying and overcritical. When the story begins, Sophie is in Hong Kong with her best friend on vacation, and the tearful friend decides to leave after less than a day because she misses her boyfriend. That brought me right back to a time when my friend Christine canceled a trip to England (for a man, of course) with me after I had bought my plane ticket (it took years to forgive her)!

I did feel that Sophie brought most of her troubles on herself. If your boss reluctantly says you can take a vacation if you squeeze in a visit to an important client in Hong Kong and you fail to show up without even calling to cancel, that is rude and irresponsible even if you have met a sexy stranger. And if you have sex with a coworker at the holiday party, it is inevitable that you will have embarrassing interaction with him later. And if you call in sick, it is stupid to stop by your office later in the day looking healthy. And getting drunk in a strange city and picking up strangers in a bar as a woman traveling alone is the opposite of sensible, but has apparently been Sophie’s pattern during her travels. (I think these things were irksome because she was a little sanctimonious while being far from perfect herself!) However, all these missteps lead to Sophie gaining the courage to recognize and follow her dreams, and she gains maturity along the way.   I just wasn't vested in her right to a happy ending!

I enjoyed the cast of characters and the vivid descriptions of New York, especially the charming German restaurant downstairs from Sophie’s apartment. I am not a big beer fan but I would try a pint of Bitburger if ever I come across it!

About the Author: Like her heroine, Kristin Rockaway has an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and moved to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. This is her debut novel.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Source: I was provided an electronic copy of this book by the author and publisher for review purposes.
Please join Kristin on her “wild woman” travels with TCL Book Tours by visiting these other bloggers:
Monday, January 22nd:
Friday, January 26th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, January 26th: Wining Wife
Tuesday, February 6th: Rockin’ and Reviewing
Friday, February 9th: Bibliotica
Monday, February 12th: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, February 13th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, February 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, February 15th: Eliot’s Eats


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This book sounds like quite an adventure and I could definitely use some escapism right about now!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Debra Eliotseats said...

That was pretty much my take with Sophie as well. Enjoyed the setting and the food references.