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Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir: Three Months, Three Generations, & Sixty Dachshunds Kindle Edition
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Ms Fleetwoods writing style is great and made me feel like I was back in Europe, seeing everything with her. It is funny, light hearted and packed with info. Loss threads through the book and she talks candidly about the death of her Father and of her dog Coco and how that has affected her and the family as a whole. It didn't dominate the book however but seemed to tie everything together. So happy I grabbed this when I saw it. Fantastic book that I will be recommending to my family and friends.
The Fleetwood family (mom, dad, teen son, and tween daughter) have planned a three month long trip that now includes both grandmothers and a grandfather (as well as a plan to meet other family members in New York for Christmas). Just before they are to leave, one of their beloved dachshunds is killed by a snake. (The other is left with a neighbor who had originally agreed to care for both dogs for the duration of the family's trip.)
The trip starts and ends in Australia but in between they end up in Asia, Europe, the UK, and the US.
The memoir manages to strike a good balance between facts and stories. The facts are things like where they visited, where they stayed while there, what they saw while there, etc. Mostly done without them becoming boring facts because the author intersperses various stories about these events throughout.
One that runs throughout is the family's dachshund spotting travel game. The first person to see a particular dachshund gets a point. The person with the most points at the end of the trip is the Dachshund Spotting King or Queen. Each spotting causes considerable excitement. The spottings also allow the author to process feelings about the death of one of the family's pets as well as reminding them all of the dachshund waiting for them at home.
I feel the Author made such a brave decision to organise such a trip, to include parents and then to arrange a ship load of friends to all meet in NY for Christmas. I take my hat off to her logistics skills. You'll also find some great tips on what to see and where to go. From a heart breaking beginning to an uplifting conclusion, the book was absorbing and FUN.
I would question the Authors decision to involve children in an educational visit to the death camps of Poland. I personally feel these places can give people awful nightmares, and although I respect the author wanting to educate her children on one of the darkest periods in European history, I personally would recommend such a decision is left for people to chose for themselves, when they are at an age to judge for themselves if they are strong enough and mature enough to take in what happened in these places. I don't think such a decision to go should be made for someone else.
This is of course a criticism of the authors itinerary and not of her book writing skills, which I am reviewing here. I did thoroughly enjoy the read and the fact that I was moved enough to question the Authors decision, means that this is also a thought provoking memoir and not just a Dear Diary, which I do applaud. As I'm reviewing a finished product here, I should also mention that this is probably one of the nicest laid out eBooks that I've seen. Congratulations on a superb job of formatting.