Friday, February 19, 2016

DNF Book Review, Slightly Angry: "Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse" by Brigid Keenan

As mentioned previously I wanted to try and get a "fish out of water"/expat story on the blog every month. Basically because I like those types of books. When I saw this book I thought it'd be perfect. And I was kind of right. It would have been perfect if it hadn't been so terrible.

It is a diary written by our author, a woman whose husband is a European diplomat who has been stationed all around the world (Syria, India, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, etc etc). Potentially so interesting right? She probably talks about local projects she gets involved with, great sights, and stories about wonderful locals that she learned so much cultural insights from...? No. I wish.

She talks about how she calls her husband every hour and complains about how bored she is (this is basically an exact quote from the book, this isn't me projecting). Also complains about the furnishings in the house they are living because they have to be older than 8 years old to be replaced. (Raise your hand if a majority of your furnishings are older than 8 years old. Both hands raised here!) She also has a cook and a general handyman/driver so she has literally all the free time in the world and doesn't do anything to take advantage of it.

In fairness, I can understand that that kind of life can be lonely. It's a lot of time being unsettled in a new place, and a lot of times you have limited amount of people you can communicate with. But this book is recent. There is the internet. Get on Rosetta Stone and learn basics of the local language.  Volunteer to teach English to kids. Get in an online support group. Take up knitting. Start a book blog! Apparently, according to other people's goodreads reviews she does get less whiny and more interesting as the book goes on. But I don't have the time or the desire to wait around on her to develop as a person or author.

People who have amazing opportunities and don't take advantage of them to the full extent make me batty.

And that is my angry book rant of the day.

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6 comments:

  1. Ugh, I met way too many people like her when I lived in South Korea. Not that I met any diplomats (or their spouses), but still...

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    1. Oh no! I just don't understand those types!

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  2. It's very refreshing to see a book review that expresses frustration with the book. Thanks for being honest!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! Sometimes I don't like a book and I can't really put my finger on why but this one was pretty obvious so I thought I'd share!

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  3. This sounds like it would frustrate me too! I feel as though I never have as much time as I'd like, so I hate hearing about people doing nothing with the time they have.

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    1. I'm the same way! I hope if I suddenly had a lot of extra time on my hands I would use it in a more constructive way than the author did.

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Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!