Elizabeth's Reviews > Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters

Running Away to Home by Jennifer  Wilson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: beautiful-books, favorites

This is the kind of memoir that you hardly notice you are reading: this is because you instantly feel immersed in the story. Wilson has such a delicate touch with her use of details, so that reading is almost like watching the story unfold out your own personal, third-story dorm window.

One of my favorite parts of the execution of this story is the use of time: the way the author bends and stretches the four-month time period of their stay to convey her own experiences with that time: so that the first few weeks of the stay are more arduous read, more trying, and move back and forth in time with more strain. But as the second half of the book approaches, and the main characters in the book progress relax into their town life, the time moves more fluidly. This use of time in the book -- whether intentional or not -- seems to reflect her own anxiety level with her ancestral town at the moment she was living it.

There is a wonderful balance between the easy sentence-level writing of the book, and the complex structure, which appears on the surface to be chronological, but really is not. At the base it is chronological, but it is more organic than that, like any regular day of events, filled with neighborly interruptions, and memories.

There is a definitive breakthrough "moment" in the book for the main character, which involves a garden and weeds, that relieves some of the tension of the beginning of the story. However, the beauty of this book is there are no real "bombshell" revelations... it is the steady pulse of the unveiling of life so similar and different from "normal" Western life that makes this story riveting. It isn't really anything that can be explained, because it has to be felt to be understood.

This book is an intensely personal, yet is one that tells a rich, universal story about connecting with family and with ourselves.
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Reading Progress

April 1, 2012 – Started Reading
April 1, 2012 – Shelved
April 2, 2012 –
page 45
13.39% "And I can tell i am going to a) want to sell some shit soon and b) I'm not going to want the book to end."
April 3, 2012 –
page 150
April 9, 2012 –
page 320
April 9, 2012 – Shelved as: beautiful-books
April 9, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
April 9, 2012 – Finished Reading

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