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Americashire: a Field Guide to a Marriage Paperback – April 23, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The story of their marriage, their move, the conflicts they survive and choices they make are interspersed with cheerful anecdotes about local events, interesting characters, and maps of local rambles suited to every possible circumstance (including "a walk to challenge your social preconceptions," and my personal favorite, a "walk for when you've forgotten your pants").
This is a lively and warmhearted commentary on rural British life, full of good humor and resilience. I admit to being a confirmed Anglophile myself, and the author's description of the beauty of the English countryside in springtime made me homesick (for a "home" I've visited for all of two weeks, granted). The author's descriptions and characterizations are deftly drawn, giving the reader a sense of vivid presence in the moment.
Richardson's commentary on the village's characters is witty and entertaining without being unkind, and her outsider's perspective on local events comes across charmingly as half bemused anthropologist, half new kid eager to fit in. Against that colorful background, the author relates more serious events (arguments with her husband, battles with his recurrent depression, fears for her health, and worry over life changes) with wry humor and affectionate warmth.
The writing style is cheerfully tongue-in-cheek, so it is easy to be touched profoundly one minute and laughing out loud at a clever turn of phrase the next. The reader ends up feeling like an old friend invited over for tea, biscuits, and gossip.Read more ›
Richardson has a dry but witty writing style that really appealed to me. I enjoyed reading about the couple's many adventures to the festivals and auctions steeped in traditions that would make any outsider feel a little out of place, and her description of the memorable cast of characters in such chapters as "The Cotswold Cult" was hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at many of her musings, particularly one chapter where her husband fretted over not having the proper attire for an afternoon hike through the countryside and what he eventually chose to wear: "an orange, sweat-wicking tank top, black running shorts, hiking boots, mud-protecting gaiters, and a backpack." I had a similar reaction to the chapter "Checkpoint Charlie with Palm Trees," where she describes a visit back to the U.S. to visit her parents in Florida:
"Like a toddler who prefers the bubble wrap to the fancy toy that came in it, expatriates find Taco Bell and Target to be two of the chief pleasures of returning to the States.Read more ›
This is a simple story, unfettered by pretense and beautifully told.
But author Jennifer Richardson didn't stop with that. She made Americashire much more than a travel memoir. She wove some really important issues in with the wacky English traditions and unforgettable characters. And it made for a perfect balance. A book solely about medical issues and the question of "Do I want to be a parent?" would have been unrelentingly serious. Instead, merged with the wackiness of life in the English countryside the serious sections of the book were much more approachable. It was easier to look at the questions Jennifer faced and ask yourself "What would I have done?"
Anyone with an Anglophile vein, a love of travel, a difficult partner and family (aren't they all?) or questions about the big choices we all have to make when shaping our lives will enjoy Americashire. It's both a fun read and a book that makes you think. Not a combo you often see!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved how the author involved the reader in such vivid descriptive detail, as we all experienced their life in the country! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sooze48
The style was self-absorbed, more a lecture about a useless topic than anything. I quit due to the lack of humor or interest.Published 5 months ago by J. Alexander
Loved it! very well written and as a Brit living in U.S myself, it rang true for me and I related completely!Published 9 months ago by Michelle
Read about 20% and deleted the book I like all things British but not told by an American. Not my cup of tea so to speak!Published 10 months ago by MissMarple
I really wanted to love this, I love the Cotswolds. Unfortunately, I kept asking myself "What on earth do these two people even see in each other? Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ilikebooks
I chose this book because I had done a walking tour of the Cotswolds and Cornwall a few years ago. The writer has given us a tongue-in-cheek insider's view of a Cotswold village,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nanohiker
I really enjoyed this book - lots of funny stories about adjusting to life in the Cotswolds from an American point of view.Published 13 months ago by Clare A