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Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infused with warmth, color, and flavor. A winner!, February 21, 2004
By 
This review is from: An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude (Hardcover)
What a great book! Ann Vanderhoof gives a rich portrayal of the Caribbean that most of us never see, but surely want to.
An Embarrassment of Mangoes is infused with warmth, color, and flavor. As if the vivid descriptions of local markets (you can smell the fruit), ancient rum distilleries, and exploration via the local buses aren't enough, the variety of characters she meets bring the islands to life.
Best, Vanderhoof and her husband are easy to identify with. They took their midlife break on a sailboat. She relates challenges and experiences with a humor that non-sailors will enjoy, and a level of detail that I'm sure sailors will appreciate. But her trip is no near-death escapade. These are real people on an achievable adventure, doing something all of us could do. Vanderhoof steers us off the beaten path to sample real life, deftly capturing the local food, music, language and, most of all, the Caribbean spirit.
"Ann of a Thousand Deadlines" (as she calls her former self) never admits bravery, but her will to leave a good job and the comfort of everyday life for two years shows real courage. The book and its premise are compelling. The recipes at the end of each chapter are a bonus (my wife has already baked the Spicy Island Gingerbread).
I want to go. Now that I have read An Embarrassment of Mangoes, I feel I have gone.
As the review on the book cover says, "what travel writing is all about." Give this one an unarguable five stars.
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