A Summer In Europe by Marilyn Brant
I will confess, I am in my mid-thirties. Most of my friends, when approaching the 30 year mark, had some sort of period of self-reflection. We all pondered questions such as, Am I where I thought I'd be at this point in life?, Moving in the direction I want to be moving in?, Are there things I want to do before I turn 40?, etc. I think reaching a new decade mark gives us some sort of mental push to evaluate our lives. It's important to live intentionally and not just go through the motions.
When I started reading this book, it reminded me of the questions I thought about, and how life changes for us as we pass each decade marker. At 20, you are just out of high school, possibly in college, learning to be an adult. By 30, many of us are married, with kids or trying to have kids. At 40, mine will be teenagers, I figure I'll be just trying to survive the teen angst. Around 50, they'll all be out of school and entering their 20s. Going to Europe is something that is on my own dream wish list, so I could definitely relate to this book. I wish I had taken the opportunity to do some of the things that the character in this book did, before I settled down. I think it's important for people to set goals for themselves and work towards them. We can't predict the future that our lives holds, so it's important to enjoy every experience and opportunity as it presents itself. This is a romantic book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's definitely one to recommend to your girlfriends!
On her thirtieth birthday, Gwendolyn Reese receives an unexpected present from her widowed Aunt Bea: a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bea's Sudoku and Mah-jongg Club. The prospect isn't entirely appealing. But when the gift she is expecting - an engagement ring from her boyfriend - doesn't materialize, Gwen decides to go. At first, Gwen approaches the trip as if it's the math homework she assigns her students, diligently checking monuments off her must-see list. But amid the bougainvillea and stunning vistas of southern Italy, something changes. Gwen begins to live in the moment - skipping down stone staircases in Capri, running her fingers over a glacier in view of the Matterhorn, racing through the Louvre, and taste-testing pastries at a Marseilles cafe. Revelling in every new experience - especially her attraction to a charismatic British physics professor - Gwen discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within...
Disclosure: I received complimentary access to this book to facilitate participation in this tour. No monetary compensation was exchanged. No positive opinion was requested or required. All opinions expressed are solely mine and were not influenced in any manner. Your experience may differ from mine. This book is now available for purchase from Amazon.