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An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude Paperback – February 8, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
With wit and candor, Vanderhoof, who's worked as a magazine and book editor, recounts her sometimes complicated but always enlightening two-year voyage from Toronto to the West Indies and beyond with her husband in their 42-foot sailboat, Receta. As they escape the restraints that have bound them to their desks for years, the pair undergo not just a change in physical appearance (the noticeable weight loss is an unexpected bonus) but also a change in attitude. And although their trip may sound terrific, it's no three-hour tour. Along with sunset cruises and afternoons spent on untouched beaches (where "you can sit and stare at the ocean for hours scarcely seeing another soul"), they encounter "blinding forks of lightning" during a big squall, hailstones during an unpredicted hurricane and other tumultuous events. The book's strength undoubtedly lies in the way local cuisine and agriculture seep into Vanderhoof's tiny galley. While island hopping, she hunts for the freshest mangoes, conch and papayas even if it involves trekking miles through uncharted territory. These long trips are always worth it, as the author befriends Grenadian and Bequian natives, learning how to reproduce scrumptious local fare. Vanderhoof excels in painting a perfect picture of every island as well as filling in the gaps with historic explanations and authentic recipes, saving the book from becoming merely a flashback and steering it in the direction of a potential reference for those wishing to exchange their Bud Lights for a case of Presidentes. Map not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What could be better than dropping all of life's mundane day-to-day activities and setting course for the adventure of a lifetime? In the mid-1990s, Steve and Ann Vanderhoof did just that when they packed up their belongings, put their careers on hold, rented out their home, and set sail for a two-year tour of the Caribbean. At the helm of a 42-foot sailboat, Ann and Steve travel more than 7,000 nautical miles and visit 16 countries, taking readers on a lively tour of the flavors, sights, and sounds of the Caribbean. Whether it's enjoying a meal with the locals, participating in festivities, or discovering the secrets of the islands, Ann writes of the rewards of living an uncharted life under the stars. Beautifully written passages transport readers to pristine beaches under azure skies. A detailed travelogue and an intimate portrait of self-discovery, this is a refreshing, soulful journey about rediscovering the things that really matter. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
It talks about a couple's free spirit living aboard a sailboat along the east coast and the island chain and the culture and food along the way.
The story is a true travel story, always the best, about the cruisers and inhabitants they meet and the friendships they form on a two year sailing trip.
The trip includes the customs, traditions, history, food, language, and people experiences they find. It is also a real learning experience for the reader including the perils and complications of ocean cruising. This Canadian couple from Toronto is learning as they go and you learn with them.
It even includes the recipes for those exotic creole dishes if you are a cook.
This is about the dream I had of cruising the Caribbean Islands and never fulfilled.. Oh yes, I owned sailboats and visited the islands by air many times including sailing chartered boats, but never lived there aboard my boat and island hopped as they say. Now I am too old and too ill for the trip.
I visited many of the islands and had real experiences including sailing into a Cat. 1 hurricane going to St. Kitts and lost the mast and nearly my life.
My misfortune, but this Toronto couple, Ann and Steve, bit the bullet, had their dream and wrote the book, a wonderful story. I envy them.
This book was well written and if you also love travel, adventure, sailing and people read this book.
There is so much to take from Ann and Steve's story of their 2 year adventure onboard Receta to the Caribe and back.
Travelers will love the vivid descriptions of the islands they visited and the people they met along the way.
Boaters will appreciate the excitement and peril of being on the open seas, and the camaraderie that exists between fellow cruisers.
Foodies will delight in the abundance of local produce and seafood recipes included in this book, along with the variety of Caribbean spices and cooking techniques which are described in great detail.
But most of all, this is a story that will make you think about what is really important in life. I highly recommend.
And it makes me want to go cruising, that's for sure!
My wish is for everyone that needs a break, that they pick up his book and sit back with a drink in one hand and the book in the other.
I've only ever given five-stars to any other author, twice. Ann, this is well deserved for the smile I've had on my face since the first chapter. It was only eclipsed by the tear in my eye at the ending.