Dini Jenkins sets the book's ultimate thread as her relationship with her husband. However, it does not reveal every detail of their relationship in a linear way. With each location they visit or revisit, she describes their interpersonal interactions, sometimes with judgment and other times using simple observation. She ultimately describes the progress they make in their relationship as a journey of learning about each other, whether by enjoying a sunset in Italy or revisiting his hometown in South Orange, New Jersey.
Dini Jenkins' style is detailed, regardless of the particular genre in which she writes a chapter. Yet, she avoids often trite travel memoir styles by providing personal context about the unique history of a location, landmarks, menus, or traveling in groups. Similarly the accompanying photographs display unique angles to a location, such as two Vermont cows with the caption "Ben and Jerry's." Once again, the reader relates. At the close of the book, she shares "how to" or "why go" guides about each location. The details surpass any traditional travel guide; they simply pull out a single theme, from a unique Tuscan recipe or antique art that can't be missed.
Finally, Dini Jenkins invites the readers to finish their stories by providing space at the back of the book for the reader to share their own thoughts and learnings about personal travel or to paste ticket stubs from choice locations. While she calls her writings "subjective," this simple portion of the book reminds readers that all of us share individual truths about our environment and how it's shaped us. She leaves no stone unturned in this honest, educational and inspirational piece.
Armchair Interviews agrees. --Armchair Interviews, November 24, 2008