The wonderful first novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sleeper and The Sisterhood.
It's New Year's Day and the year isn't kicking off well for Tansy: her mother's dead, she's a cocaine addict and her boyfriend has just left her. A trip around the world seems like the only option except that she's not interested in seeing the world, just escaping from it, and the last people she wants to hang out with are backpackers.
Like a lot of travellers on the Lonely-Planet-led Asian Grand Tour, Tansy is intensely irritating at first. Always on the look out for the "real" Vietnam--the one in which she can walk around "like a model, fanning myself gently, strolling into ancient temples and learning about inner peace"--she is opinionated, narrow-minded and remarkably naive (for a supposed media luvvy). Once she has shrugged off her addiction to lines of coke, skinny lattes and Nicole Fahri jumpers, she becomes more appealing. So by the time she's fallen for Max, a fellow traveller, she'll have won you over and you'll be just as worried as she is about the serial killer who appears to be on her trail.
Emily Barr has written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian for several years, and her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed. She lives in Cornwall with her husband and three children.
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fantastic visuals and a good plot
- Stepping On
A solid 4 star listen - enjoyable.
For me, it was hearing about Tansy as she travelled the world. In essence she is seeking an escape from her life in the UK and the fact that she is not the stereotypical travelling kind of person ensured this captured her cynicism perfectly! Lightly humorous and good expression in the narrators voice.
The backpack travels were told with subtle humour and I found the moments when Tansy encountered over travellers kept this story feeling fresh.
Tansy - without a doubt. This is her story and I loved seeing how much she changed over the course of her travels.
No probably not. I listened to this over several days and it was great to get little chunks of the backpack experience.
A solid narration of a very good book. A solid 4 star - perhaps not setting the world alight but a really great story to get into and some nice moments of humour.
- MRS V L HALL