Publication Date: August 15, 2012
Ramblings in Ireland by Kerry Dwyer is an account of a Brit ex-pat living in France, and her French husband, Bertrand, ramble literally and intellectually through Ireland. Their rambles include life, love and the helpfulness of having a partner who can read a map.
My husband and I visited Paris during our honeymoon. I didn’t notice at the moment, but when later watching the video of our visit to the Catacombs, two things stand out — the first is the bride sobbing softly (I am deeply claustrophobic — and the Catacombs contain skeletons — need I say more?). The second thing that stands out is an in-depth conversation for nearby visitors of the difference in the English words “mess” and “mass.” I picture Kerry Dwyer as one of the people analyzing the uses and definitions. Kerry has a deep love for the English language. Does this sound annoying? Kerry brings a charm to her obsessions that make the reader like her even more for them.
In Ramblings in Ireland, Kerry warns us in the foreword that she rambles. Rambling can go very bad, but Kerry manages to bring it all back to relevance. She paints the picture of her parents and Bertrand and their difficulty with maps and the beauty of Ireland in vivid detail. Reading Ramblings in Ireland is sitting down with a good storyteller and enjoying the journey rather than the destination. Despite the troubles, they have in traveling together, neither Kerry nor Bertrand grate at the reader. They treat each challenge in a way that allows the reader to laugh with them rather than at them.
I find it fun to read how different cultures see different things and through Kerry, we get the English, French and often Irish perspectives. Each character we meet while on the road is unique and memorable and drawn in such a way that this reader wanted to head over and meet them. I’m not a walking tour person but I almost want to do it after reading Ramblings in Ireland.
I read this book while on a long trip and found that the bits of time spent with Kerry and Bertrand were light, easy and brightened my day. This is not the best book I’ve ever read but I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it. I would advise anyone who likes fun travel memoirs to pick Ramblings in Ireland up.
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