Stung by betrayal, a sheltered woman boards a plane to find a world beyond Milwaukee: “The author writes with wit and flair. . . . A romantic escape to savor.” —Kirkus Reviews
Betsy has been sheltered for a long time—by her close-knit family, Catholic school education, college in her hometown, and early marriage. It takes the discovery of her husband’s serial philandering to push her out of the nest, at age thirty-two, in the summer of 1981.
Betsy grabs a backpack and a few good books and puts distance—geographical and emotional—between herself and the life she knew in Wisconsin. She begins to make her own decisions: which cities to travel to, what hotels to stay at, and what dinner entrées to order. At airports, on trains, and in pensiones, Betsy takes her first steps toward independence as she navigates the brief but intense relationships only travelers can have with one another.
Armed with a book of foreign phrases and a Swiss Army knife, she becomes acquainted with a devout Muslim on a pilgrimage, a French financier raised on a rabbit farm, a lawyer on a solo honeymoon, a Pakistani gambler, a beguiling American threesome en route to Venice, an Italian hotel owner on Lake Como, and a passionate Irish protestor who carries her to safety from the streets of Dublin. And when Betsy finally arrives back home, she comes to the startling realization that her journey is only just beginning.
“Breezy . . . After each meeting, Hermes injects a chapter from the stranger’s point of view. . . . Pleasant escapist fare.” —Publishers Weekly