Gerald Griffin's Reviews > Jan Does Europe

Jan Does Europe by Jude Arnold
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Jun 02, 2011

really liked it

Jan Does Europe by Jude Arnold

JAN DOES EUROPE are two intriguing books, both based upon the journals of the late Janet Kay Arnold, the author's younger sister. JAN: A DEVOTIONAL, is a diary composite of Jan's years 1979-1990. The second book, JAN DOES EUROPE, is the diary of her travels through Europe from April through August of 1989.

JAN: A DEVOTIONAL is an enduring account of Jan's yearnings striving for the enjoyment of life in her work, writings, friendships, love, music, phogtography, dancing, drinking, partying, smoking pot, doing yoga, taking saunas and steambaths, sunbathing nude, swimming, scuba diving, skiing, ice-skating, canoeing, spending time alone to relax, to meditate, to talk to God; enjoyment bringing Jan a peaceful joy in the magic of being alive. However, she fights her dark side of anger, guilt, anxiety, self-doubt, self-hate, scared feelings, jealousies and fears making her irritable and miserable, confused about life, at times causing her to wonder why she is alive. She overcomes this dark side with God's love, the nurturing of others, and trust in and acceptanc of herself.

In the second book, JAN DOS EUROPE, the tempo of Jan's diary, expressing her joy of life, continues with alluring and endearing appeal. She sets out on a four month, picturesque journey across Europe, visiting Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. In a topsy-turvy flux of emotion and thought elicited by adventure and misadventure, new interesting friends, a new lover while still missing her former lover at home, Jan's experiences in Europe are fascinating, often leaving her happy and exhilarated, and occasionally disappointed.

A moving read which tugs at the heart. At the age of 32, Jan died in perfect health in a scuba diving accident in Jamaica on March 16, 1990.

I shall miss Jan, as will the reader.

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