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A Broad Abroad: The Expat Wife's Guide to Successful Living Abroad Paperback – July 20, 2009
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About the Author
Pascoe is well known to travelling spouses around the world for her inspirational and humorous culture shock books about being a wife and parent. She also speaks to expatriate communities and human resources groups about the challenges of expatriate and repatriate life facing the spouse and family.
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If you're an expat wife whose husband has picked up either a freelance job overseas in developed country like America, Canada or the UK, will be on the lower end of the totem pole, you'll be making local wage, or not in a metro: pick it up from your library instead.
Much of the advice here is targeted towards women with children whose husbands will make the same wage at home, and advice about taking time for yourself is important - but for spouses like myself who live on local wage over 6 hours away from a local metropolitan area, and have no children, this book is significantly less relevant. It's a useful overview of the sorts of experiences an expat wife may face, but everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt - they simply aren't viable, or reasonable expectations, for everyone going abroad. If I had one of the maids that the author portrays as nearly-necessary and utterly pervasive, my husband and I would be shelling out nearly 1/3 of his monthly salary to pay wages for someone else.
A book about the culture of your new host country, combined with a book on cultural adjustment and relocation, would stand you in equal stead with this text - and be significantly more specific. Pascoe does a disservice to the reader in her generalization to meet all readers; it is also focused towards individuals moving from the West, rather than an individual coming from a developing country (where they may very well speak English as one of the official languages) to one of the major developed nations.
In sum: Good one-time read, great for borrowing from the library, but the information in it is rather targeted and much of it may be irrelevant for your situation.
This book will be very useful to those who experience expatriation for the first time as well as those who are already seasoned expat. The first ones will keep this book within easy reach in order to tackle each step of their move and stay abroad. The second ones will find in in it some pieces of their own life and story but also answers to questions they have probably asked themselves thousands of times. In other words, the readers will feel less lonely while facing with culture shock. Finally, they will also understand that all the process and their feeling are normal.
When this book was originally written, the word 'expatriate' was not even in my vocabulary. After having spent nearly half of my life outside my native country, I'm so thankful to Robin Pascoe for putting this book back in print. It's full of timeless advice that trailing wives, expat mothers, and global broads everywhere will take to heart for years to come.