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Chapter 29 - Take Me Away

Travel is still difficult with many countries and cities still closed down due to COVID. Dave and I love to travel and aside from a quick trip to Baltimore and some weekends in Anderson at our condo, we really haven't gone anywhere. People assume when you live at the beach you don't need a vacation because you are already there. But like so many others we love to see new things and have new experiences.

Enter books - for me at least. Once again, they provide a place to get away. I love books that take me to foreign lands and sights. There are people who only read books that take place in the United States but I am definitely not one of those people. The more exotic the locale, the better a read for me. Thank heavens there are writers who think like me.

Here are a few of my favorites -

When the Apricot Blooms by Gina Wilkerson - This novel takes place in pre-invasion Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Ally Wilson is the wife of an Australian diplomat and becomes friends with her husband's secretary, Huda. Little does she know that Huda has been forced by the mukhabarat to become a spy and when she doesn't deliver information, her family is threatened. These two women, and a third, Huda's artist friend Rania, form a plan to protect their families.

The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman - It started as a trip to Paradise when adventure guide, Jamie is assigned to Bali to research a trip. Only there three days she is caught up in the nightclub bombings which change her life. Returning a year later for a memorial she encounters many people who have experienced loss from the event and learns that forgiveness and love often go hand in hand.

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan - I love Colgan's writing anyway and her latest is the story of a nurse in the inner city of London and a Scottish ex-military nurse who exchange jobs and start to email each other about their new adventures. Lissa, suffering burnout after trying to save the victim of a violent crime is assigned a less demanding job in the Scottish highlands. Cormack, who has never been in a big city, is excited about the change. As they get to know their jobs, they also get to know the nurse who used to have them. This is a delightful tale full of interesting characters.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - Currently at 20 novels in the series, these wonderful stories take place in Botswana. Precious Ramotswe is a astute detective whose goal is to "help people with problems in their lives." Together with her assistant Grace they hunt down a missing husband, a con man and a runaway daughter in the first of the series. The next in the series comes out in October.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie - I don't think you can get a finer mystery writer than Agatha Christie and Death on the Nile is arguably one of her best. The enjoyment of a cruise on the Nile is marred by the death of one of the travelers who has been shot through the head. Enter Hercule Poirot who is charged to solve the case. I have always wanted to visit Egypt and I think it goes back to when I first read this book.

Are there any books that take you away that you want to share? Please let me know!


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