Eat, Walk, Write
By Boyd Lemon
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 3 stars
Boyd Lemon offers a look at Paris and Tuscany through his journaling. His introduction tells readers of his almost a year in Paris, with the last month in Tuscany, before returning to California in the spring of 2011. While there, in addition to keeping a journal, he started two blogs, one on travel, and the other on divorce recovery, as he continued his reinvention of himself as a writer after retirement from the practice of law.
Lemon’s greatest strength is in sharing the slower pace of a retired adventurer, rather than in the voice of a tourist attraction guide. Because of this, he saw and is able to share, a better glimpse into everyday life that many visitors do not see.
In this reviewer’s opinion, this adventure would have been so much stronger with the inclusion of more dialogue, even if just his English to their French or setting his thoughts into dialogue format. The book’s impact on readers would be greater through showing his confusion and difficulty in learning French, rather than just telling about it.
Although a journal naturally includes many sentences beginning with the word, “I,” using this technique to share his walk eventually tended to remind this reviewer of watching one too many home movies narrated by friends after returning from vacation, where captured interest is great at the beginning, but wanes eventually with too much repetition.
Exceptional, however, was Lemon’s descriptions of eating while traveling.
“…thin rice flower covered rolls stuffed with aborigine and fig and spices I didn’t recognize; thin sliced scallops on a ratatouille (I could taste the individual flavors of each vegetable) accompanied by lovely dry white wines from Provence. Dessert was a light as air pastry with fresh strawberries on top, a small crème broulet and two scoops of gelato – almond and lavender.”
This is where he blossoms, having readers tasting his food choices with him!