I’m sure some folks are wondering why I would even bother to read a book about being an expat! Are the Navins considering relocating somewhere else in the world for work? For fun? I’ll be honest…when I was asked to review this book, I skimmed the book blurb and said ‘yes!’ When I started reading the book and realized it was a ‘guide to being an expat,’ I wondered why I was reading it myself! I have to tell you though: this book is more than that…it’s a delightful memoir from a woman who you will want to be your friend!
McMaster is from Ireland and her book is peppered with lots of British phrases and words. However, she now considers Houston, TX her home and you can imagine the hilarious stories that go along with that transition. While, as I said, I’m not an expat and not looking to become one…McMaster’s personality and love for the topic shined through in this book, making it an enjoyable (and informational) read throughout.
The book is written in a very informal style…if author asides to the reader bother you, this book will be a hard pass for you! It’s the style, however, that I found most engaging. McMaster describes her life leading up to becoming an expat, explains her desire to live abroad and then catalogs her amazing and harrowing experiences as a expat both before and after becoming a mom.
If you have any inclination toward becoming an expat, it’s all here in this book: how to decide, what to take, who to talk to and how, what pitfalls to avoid! McMaster also pays specific homage to the myriad expat friends she has made throughout her journey. These stories of women truly being there for other women are a big part of what made this book so endearing regardless of the fact that I don’t relate to being an expat myself.
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were expats for years and I found myself looking at their experiences in a different light because of this book: McMaster points out many of the biases that exist toward expats amongst non-expats and, I must admit, I was guilty of many of them!
I must disclose: I was reading an ARC of this book so I experienced some disorganization in the copy of the book I read. I found that a bit offputting (chapters weren’t clearly defined, topics bled from one chapter to the next) but hope that it is resolved in the final copy of the book!
Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone involved in the expat life in any way and definitely recommend for everyone else, as well. It’s funny, (read it if only for the multiple international dildo stories! 🙂 ) heartwarming and real. I saw my struggles as a woman and a mother in many of McMaster’s stories…and I loved her and her book for putting them out there in such a genuine way!
To get your copy of Bloom Where You’re Planted by Lasairiona McMaster, please click the link below: