"Holland," she said, "is where my heart lies..."
When the going gets tough, the tough get going and sometimes going foreign is just the way to go—a “non-American dream,” perhaps.
Following in the footsteps of a rogue great aunt, Clara recovers from hurt by flying across the world to spend some time in Amsterdam. She takes a shot at the language, tastes her way through every type of cheese, and finds out the hard way that the Dutch are direct. Slowly, Clara begins to feel like she’s alive again, and soon she realizes that just because you’re from somewhere doesn’t mean that’s where you are meant to be.
Paperback, 366 pages
Published November 6th 2013 by Patricia Willers
I received this novel as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
I must admit that this book frustrated me quite a bit. I will start with what I did not particularly like and then move on to what I did like.
I found that as far as the actual plot of the story there was a whole lot of nothing. I know that the underlying theme was about Clara discovering who she was and becoming independent however I felt like all that occurred throughout the story was a whole lot of wallowing followed up by a whole lot of eating. Clara's journey did not seem realistic nor did her family's. As a result I felt the story was 100 pages too many.
On the flip side this story painted a brilliant picture of Holland. I have never been however it is on my list of places to go and I felt that Willers was able to give me the next best thing. The way she described the people, the landscape and the food made me feel like I was there. I could smell and taste the food as she was describing it. I give credit to Willers for her wonderful descriptions. It is clear that she has a great love of Holland and/or fantastic research skills.
To sum it up, although I was not terribly impressed with the actual story, the portrayal of Holland made up for the gaps. The true hero of the story was Holland and I am glad that I could experience it through the pages of this story.