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****My Love Affair With England

A Traveler's Memoir

by Susan Allen Toth

Reviewed October 20, 2003.
Ballantine Books, New York, 1992.  320 pages.
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #5, Cross-Cultural Nonfiction

I, too, have fallen in love with England.  Though I’ve spent only a week there, it captured my heart, and had captured it long before I’d ever been there through the books I’d read.  I’ve also spent three magnificent weeks in Ireland and one in Scotland, and I find the same magic in those places.

If you love to read and you’re an English speaker, then England has a familiar feeling of somewhere you’ve long known, a feeling of home.

Susan Allen Toth captures some of the magic and delight of England in her book.  She doesn’t live in England, but has spent some long months there and goes back again and again.

This book doesn’t go chronologically for the most part, but explores interesting topics like haunted houses, English gardens, walking in England, sheep-dog trials, and the very meaning of life.  I read this one slowly, dipping into it a little at a time, enjoying the spirit of England that it evokes.  I began it even before our trip to Scotland this summer, feeling so lucky that I, too, could travel in Britain.

Even if you aren’t so lucky as to have been to England yourself, you can visit England vicariously in this book, while thinking about travel and life and life’s simple pleasures.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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