Kate Wills wasn’t expecting to be divorced after less than a year of marriage. Luckily, her job as a travel journalist offered her the perfect opportunity to escape. But this time, her restless jet-setting felt different. She felt more alone than ever before, particularly against a backdrop of never-ending hen dos, weddings and baby showers.
So she began to search history for female travellers to inspire her. From a 4th-century nun and a sailor in disguise to an opium-addicted author and a globe-circling cyclist, Kate retraces these incredible journeys on a quest to discover what who she is and what she wants. And when a pandemic halts all travel, she discovers that happiness was actually a little closer to home.
I absolutely loved the premise of this book, but unfortunately it did not deliver.
The writing was disappointing and although the historical stories were interesting, the connections to Kate’s own life were tenuous at best. The author did not engage with the reader and in fact came across as slightly shallow and selfish in the way she discussed her life. In particular her blasé attitude to motherhood and how unsure she was about it; the fact that she apologised for this makes me think she knew how it came across: irritating and smug.
I almost gave up, but the second half of the book was much better. The author seemed to mellow and there was a more genuine side to her writing.
That said, for a travel journalist I was surprised that the places visited were not described more vividly. Having been to a few places mentioned in the book, the author really did not do them justice. Nor was there enough information on the women who had made similar journeys and their tales felt rushed, even though there was plenty more material that could have been shared.
Had this focused primarily on the women travellers it would have been a much better book, but instead the author tried to share her dull, privileged life with us. And frankly, I didn’t care for it.
I was given an ARC by Blink in exchange for an honest review.